BENGALURU: The investigation wing of Income Tax Department conducted raids on two companies — Ambidant Marketing Pvt Ltd and Injaz Builders and Developers Pvt Ltd — which are suspected to be running ponzi schemes. The raids began on Tuesday and is expected to go on for another two days.
Known as ‘chain link multi-level marketing’ scam, the companies offered huge returns on investments through halal investments to encourage people to put their monies in the companies and to bring more investors.
Ambidant Marketing, run by the father-son duo of Syed Ahmed Fareed and Syed Ahmed Afaq, was already the subject of an investigation by the police and an FIR had been registered against the company earlier this month. Sources in the IT Department said Ambidant, which floated its scheme in December 2016, had collected about `200 crore from various investors.
The company offered a staggering 45 per cent return on investment per month. For forming a chain link, the company promised 5 per cent commission to people. More than 500 people are suspected to have invested in the scheme. The company operates out of a 8x8 place at Kanakanagar in R T Nagar and was operating only from 6 am to 8 am to evade police, said IT sources.
When IT officials arrived at 6 am, around 300 people had already lined up, waiting to invest in the company, they said. Fareed, who was at his residence, is being questioned by the IT officials. The company was involved in forex trading banned under Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA).
Injaz Builders, which is involved in real estate and aviation, also ran a similar model. The company’s directors Misbah Mukarram and Suhail Sheriff ran a similar scheme for one year and are said to have collected around `500 crore. The company was offering 25 per cent returns. Both companies are suspected of routing money through hawala channels and of being involved in money laundering.
“We have found nearly 3,500 bank accounts related to Injaz through which they were routing money. Neither of these companies have filed any returns or had any audit done. A director of one of these companies was hoping to contest in the upcoming Assembly elections and some of the money collected was being diverted for that purpose,” an official said.
In connection with the Injaz case, a regional television news channel was also searched and its employees questioned along with the owner. IT officials said the owner was suspected routing the money provided by Injaz Builders, out of the country.