Bengaluru: Burraqh Groups, a Bengaluru-based investment company, which runs a slew of businesses has allegedly duped hundreds of investors, using a Ponzi scheme.
Investors, mostly from the city’s Muslim community, had been lured in the name of halal income and the company promised them hefty monthly fixed returns. However, three months ago the company shut down its office and the directors have allegedly absconded.
The investors of Burraqh reached out to The Cognate, after reading our reports on the Morgenall scam.
According to the investors, Burraqh Groups collected deposits from people for investment in their construction projects, supermarkets, and other businesses. Like Morgenall, it is said to have specifically targeted the Muslim community.
Syed Jameel Ahmed, a realtor said he had invested Rs 1 crore in the firm in March this year, but the company closed operations after taking the money. He said he trusted the company because the director of the company was his friend.
“I have worked with him on many construction projects in the past. I never thought he would cheat people this way,” said Ahmed.
Mohammed Ashraf, another person said he had invested Rs 1 lakh and also helped several others from his family make investments.
The investors allege that the company has duped hundreds of people in Bengaluru and other parts of Karnataka and the amount could run into several hundred crores.
“We have lodged several complaints with the police, but there has been no progress in the case so far,” said Ashraf.
Fayaz M.D, one of the investor says, when he had requested a refund of his deposit amount couple of months ago, the company, gave him a post-dated cheque, which got rejected for insufficient funds.
The Cognate tried to contact Burraqh Groups at the numbers shown on their Google profile, but the numbers are no longer operational. The company’s website has been shut down, as well.
According to the information gathered from the website of Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA), and from the web archive of the company, Burraqh was started by father-son duo Syed Niyaz and Syed Mohsin Pasha. The investment section of the Group, Burraqh Unity LLP was started on December 12, 2017. Its now-defunct website shows that prior to this, the company operated under different entities.
The investors allege that both Syed Niyaz and Syed Mohsin are still in Bengaluru, and have even contacted some of them, with promises to return their money.
In a video message sent to investors in July, Syed Niyaz said he has not run away with their money and he needs more time to return their payments.
“Some of us have sold our houses, and some have even borrowed money from others, to invest in this company. It’s been more than three months since we received our payments. They have shut down their office and there is no trace of the directors,” said Ashraf.
In the past six months alone, a number of such companies in Bengaluru have systematically targeted the city’s Muslim community and lured them to invest in their firms, inducing them in the name of halal investment.
In January this year, Capital Plus and Capital Infrastructure, a firm promising similar high returns on investment duped over 200 investors of over Rs. 300 crores. On September 24, Morgenall another so-called ‘halal’ investment company shut down its office, and the owners went untraceable. Ajmera, Injaz International, Aleef, Aala Ventures, Ambidant, and several other companies have allegedly siphoned off large sums of money.
The extent of their fraud is yet to be ascertained.