Ambidant Marketing Private Limited, which is run by the father-son pair Syed Ahmed Fareed and Syed Ahmed, recently came under the scanner for duping people of Rs 954 crore in a Ponzi scheme.
The 'money chain or multi-level marketing' company offered huge interest to its investors in the name of 'Islamic banking'.
The company reportedly lured investors by promising easy money with high interest and less risk. Initially, the company paid profits to the existing investors out of funds obtained from its new investors. The Enforcement Department (ED) has charged the company for executing deceptive schemes worth Rs 954 crores against the law.
According to local sources, nearly a thousand people from the Uttara Kannada district of Bhatkal have invested in Ambidant. During the initial stage, the company repaid investments up to Rs 3 lakhs with profit and the investors were tempted to reinvest in the scheme.
Former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) minister and mining baron Gali Janardhana Reddy is alleged of bribing an ED official and receiving 57 kg of gold bullion and Rs 2 crore in cash from Fareed. One of Reddy's aide Ali Khan is apparently is involved in the plot to help Ambidant owners.
The Central Crime Branch (CCB) suspects the gold has been converted into cash.
The CCB sleuths arrested Fareed and found out details about the scheme and the names of people involved in the scam. CCB has recovered 21 photographs from Fareed's phone of his meeting with Reddy.
The Income Tax Department (IT) had conducted a raid on Ambidant group last year. The ED had warned the state government to take action against Ambidant Marketing's multi-crore fraud schemes, but the government seems to have ignored the potential threat.
Fareed and his son Afaq also have several foreign holdings and investments, including Ambidant Constructions, India and Ambidant Marketing Financial Services LLC in Dubai, which are being investigated.
"We reviewed the case of Ambidant at the last statelevel coordination committee (SLCC) meet in August," said chief secretary TM Vijay Bhaskar. "Directives were issued to the revenue department to attach the company's properties and police were asked to book a case against it. Progress of implementation of the orders will be reviewed at the next SLCC meeting." However, neither the revenue department nor the police acted, as reported by TOI.