Activists and victims of various “halal” Ponzi schemes in Bengaluru that primarily targeted Muslims are demanding prompt action from the authorities on recovering money to the tune of crores.
Unlike fixed bank interest rates which a section of Muslims consider to be anti-Islam, these companies sold their plans as a form of partnership business with the promise of high returns of 10-12% within a month. The plan was to lure customers to invest their life savings by staying true to the offer for the first few installments.
While, police and revenue department has filed chargesheets and started recovery proceedings in case of Ambidant and Ajmeera scams, action is due against companies like Injaz, Muzaribah and Aala Ventures.
In this regard, the group went to meet Principal Secretary, Revenue Department Rajesh Khatri on Thursday and submitted a memorandum asking to appoint a Recovery Officer for each ponzi company.
The same bunch of victims and activists had met the Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime) Girish S on Tuesday and had submitted a similar memorandum urging prompt action against the culprits. The same memorandum has been addressed to the City Police Commissioner T Suneel Kumar and state police chief Neelamani Raju as well.
Lancha Mukta (Bribe-free) Karnataka, an apolitical organisation has been uniting victims of these schemes for the last five months, since the first such scam came to light.
Narendra Kumar, State Joint-Secretary of the outfit, said, “The victims of these scheme, except Ambidant and Ajmeera, are confused what to do. Some days there are videos on social media that these companies are returning the money to the victims. Then, there are threats by companies that worries them."
Although these scams are quite large, they caught the public's attention only when former BJP minister and tainted mining baron Janardhana Reddy was arrested in connection with the Ambidant scam in November 2018.
With Ambidant, names of other such fraudulent schemes emerged and it became clear that there are thousands of victims spread all over Karnataka. While most of the owners of these schemes are out in bail, the money recovery process through seizures have not begun except in case of Ambidant and Ajmeera.
Responding to the large-scale protests, the government has appointed a Special Recovery Officer in accordance with the Karnataka Protection of Interest of Depositors Act in those cases. The money recovered from selling the seized properties of these company owners will be returned proportionately to the investors.