Bengaluru: The fraudulent Ambidant Marketing and investment company run by father-son Syed Fareed and Syed Afaq Ahmed had allegedly faked halal investment and misused ulemas to attract Muslim investors.
The company, which assured investors that it was dealing with halal business (businesses in accordance with Sharia) allegedly invested in cryptocurrencies and made a fortune, until it came under Enforcement Directorate scanner, after Reserve Bank of India declared cryptocurrency (Bitcoin) illegal tender.
In the beginning the company used to pay huge returns (up to 50 percent) per lakh every month to the investors. Later as more investors joined, it paid 25 per cent, then 11 percent and the last payout was in January, which was 9 percent.
The company since then has not paid to any investor but has provided flats to those who had made heavy investment.
According to a source, the father-son systematically used ulemas (Muslim clerics) to attract Muslims to invest in 'Halal business".
When the Bitcoin business was booming, the company allegedly invested huge sums in it. The going was good until the RBI declared the crypto-currencies illegal and Income Tax Department issued notices to those involved in this currency exchange.
It is learnt that Ambidant was one among over 4,000 companies and individuals who had been served with a notice.
The company, however, never revealed to its investors about its exposure to crypto-currencies.
Ambidant has investors who had deposited amounts ranging from Rs 50,000 to over Rs 1 crore. While a few of the early customers earned double of what they invested, majority of them have not received even a quarter their investments.
It’s un-Islamic: Scholars
Many Islamic scholars have termed crypto-currency trade non-permisable as per Islam. They said it neither had intrinsic value like gold, nor were they backed by a government, standards of reliability required to make them a currency, according to Sharia.
In addition, the value of this currency is shrouded in secrecy, exposing investors to fraud and use by criminal networks.
Ultimate Plan: Investors were told to invest the amount starting from Rs 50,000 with a guaranteed returns of Rs 9,000 to 11,000. The payment was made to investors in four months along with the returns.
Vehicle Scheme: Under this plan, the investors were asked to pay 75 per cent of the vehicle amount (any vehicle) and the rest of the amount will be added by the company after four months.
Umrah scheme: Muslims planning to do Umrah (visit Makkah in Saudi Arabia as part of Islamic rituals) were asked to invest an amount less than market price and promised the journey four months after the investments.
The company had many other plans which attracted many investors, who ended up losing money.
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