Like cryptocurrency Ponzi schemes in India were not common enough, now Muslim cryptocurrency traders must be on the look out as well. Recently, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) discovered that a Bangalore-based company, Ambidant Marketing Pvt Ltd, involved in Islamic banking and halal investment, was allegedly running a Ponzi scheme.
In a statement to news portal, India Today, the ED said, “During the investigation, it came to the fore that the scheme run by the company is surely a potential Ponzi scheme. In view of the above, ED has written to the RBI (Reserve Bank of India) to have another look into the matter and protect the interest of the investors/depositors at large who are being duped in the name of Islamic banking/halal investment.”
The ED chanced upon the company’s activities soon after it came under the body’s radar, among 4000 companies placed under similar investigation. Unlike other companies, the investors were unaware of the development.
According to several news reports, the company was run by father-son duo, Syed Fareed and Syed Afaq Ahmed who used promises of Halal investments as well as misused Ulemas to project themselves as Shariah-compliant investment company for Muslim investors. Further reports suggested that the using Halal businesses as cover, the company tried to lure investors by promising them returns of as much as 50 percent per lakh Rupees (approximately $275).
The company, without informing the investors, invest the takings in cryptocurrencies where it made a fortune, enabling it to pay the promised returns for a little time, until the scheme grew bigger. As more investors joined the scheme, the returns dropped by 25 percent, then to 11 percent before finally paying out 9 percent in January 2018, which was its last payout. In the meantime, investors had nearly made nearly double their initial investment amount ranging from Rs 50,000 to Rs 1 crore, news portal, CCN reported.
Although bitcoin is no longer frowned upon among certain sections of the Muslim community, this news will definitely make people think twice before investing in fraudulent, get-rich-quick schemes.
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