Another fake company loots over Rs240mn from 700 people in GB

ISLAMABAD: Over Rs200 million investment in a suspected online company, Pay Diamond, by as many as 700 people in the Ghizer district of Gilgit Baltistan has been unveiled. Through the investment, the alleged illegal company has received more than Rs30 million in terms of commission and kickback from the investors.

According to sources, a company doing online business has to get a license from the National Security Exchange Commission of Pakistan (NCECP), but Pay Diamond neither got the license nor a time frame for investment. The company also lacks proper structure. The sources said that majority of its investors were government’s retired officers.

The company is continuing a house-to-house campaign in order to attract more investors and make more commission. Politicians, social workers and people from other walks of life have demanded an inquiry into the company, stating that if the company was legal, it should be allowed to work. They said that if that is not the case, then the company is illegal and should be immediately shut down.

After reports published in the regional media, local officials said that the administration has taken notice of the company and issued directives for conducting an investigation into the matter. He said the government would not allow any company to loot the people. He ordered the concerned authorities to trace the responsible persons of the company and interrogate them.

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They vowed that the company would be shut downed immediately if it was found fraudulent, saying there was a dire need to generate awareness among the people about fake companies. He said it was the government’s responsibility to protect the people against fraud and to crack down on illegal and fake companies.

It is pertinent to mention here that in 2017, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) (Rawalpindi) arrested an official of a fraudulent investment company, Big Board, from Karachi for a major financial scam in Gilgit Baltistan.

The Karachi-based firm Big Board Advisory Service (Pvt) Ltd had cheated thousands of people in GB by opening offices in various districts and by promising a rate of return between 18 to 36 per cent per year on investing money in the company for the year 2004–2005. The company then abruptly closed its offices in the area as a large number of its investors started demanding a return on their investments.

The firm operated much like a bank; opening saving accounts for the customers. The affectees which largely included persons from the middle-income class – mostly retired government employees and farmers – had lost hope of receiving the returns when the government institutions, including NAB, failed to arrest the culprits.

Talking to Pakistan Today, official sources at NAB Islamabad, said that the accused, Big Board Advisory Service (Pvt) Ltd Chief Executive, Abbas Haider Naqvi was arrested from Karachi where the company’s head office is located. They further revealed that the directors of the said company cunningly collected money from the general public by promising a rate of return ranging from as low as 18 per cent to 36 per cent per year to as high as 100 per cent to 150 per cent for an investment of 5 years.

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Ghulam Abbas
The writer is a member of the staff at the Islamabad Bureau. He can be reached at [email protected]
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