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Al-Fahad goes Al-Falah way

Another fraud in the long chain of fraud after fraud. Again hundreds of people have been left robbed of their precious little savings made in a life time. Another fraud in the name of ‘Islamic investment.’ Delhi-based Al-Fahad investment group downed its shutters in the densely Muslim populated area of Okhla and left investors high and dry. 

It is not the first instance when a non-banking investment company collecting millions of rupees in the name of Islamic and halal investment schemes has bolted with no trace. 

The new fraud follows the collapse of Al-Falah group whose high officials including chairman Jawwad Siddiqui are behind bars on charges collecting billions of rupees by fraudulent means. Now Al-Fahad, headed by Jawwad’s brother, Hamood, has followed in Al-Falah’s footsteps. Its chairman, Hamood Ahmad Siddiqui has gone underground. And the staff of the company has vanished. The corporate office at Okhla is locked.

According to a brochure of the company, Al-Fahad worked on the principle of participation in profits. The amount invested by people, a group or trust in different schemes was to be utilized to finance various profitable ventures. The profit so earned was to be shared among investors and the company (in the ratio of 80:20). Premature withdrawals were also allowed, but no benefits were offered in that case. Like Al-Falah, Al-Fahad was paying a dividend of 35-40% every year to its investors, which, according to economic experts is impossible in the Indian investment conditions. It is said that this group had collected lacks of rupees from Muslims planning to go to Hajj. Now their deposits have sunk with no trace. This group has even not spared madrasas by collecting amount of fitrah and zakat from them for investment!

37-year-old Abdul Mateen, an investor, seems to be at his wit’s end. He had deposited Rs 45,000 in Al-Fahad’s Cold Storage and Quarterly schemes. He had been paid one yearly dividend of Rs 4,000. Mateen said that when he realized dubious functioning of the company, he approached the chairman and asked him to return his deposit. The chairman promised to pay his capital amount as well as dividends, he said, but he gave me only dividend not the deposit. He desperately wrote letters to Hamood Siddiqui but got no reply.

There are hundreds of investors like Mateen who are undergoing the trauma of their life. They seem to have abandoned the hope of getting back their money. Most of the investors think that bringing the cheats to book requires a lot of money, time, energy and influence. And these are commodities they utterly lack. 

RBI had recently rejected the registration application of Al-Fahad. This meant that the company could not function even as a non-banking financial institution. The company has been forbidden to collect funds. According to the act 45MB (2), it cannot dispose of its assets without the prior permission of the RBI.

It is known that Muslims have invested considerable amounts in such companies in various parts of the country. Almost all have turned out to be frauds and their investors are trying hard to retrieve their deposits. 

A few days back KR Singh has filed a writ petition against Al-Falah Investment Ltd. The chairman of Al-Falah Jawwad Siddiqui is in Tihar jail with his two younger brothers. They are all struggling hard to secure bail. 

A Supreme Court lawyer, Nafis Ahmad Siddiqui, who is looking after the case for Al-Falah Depositors Forum, told The Milli Gazette that my objection to Al-Falah directors’ bail application is as follows: he need not come out of the jail. And if wants to come out in order to pay back his investors he can do the same even from inside the jail by summoning the sub-registrar inside the jail by depositing his necessary fee as prescribed by law and chairman can execute a registered sale deed by disposing the property of the company.

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