KARACHI: Despite a clear indication from the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), the investigation agencies, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), could not arrest the owners of B4U Global aka B4U Trading — a “fraudulent investment company” working in Karachi, Lahore and other cities of Pakistan.

In January 2021, the SECP warned the public to refrain from investing in any “fraudulent investment schemes, like B4U Global investment, that promised hefty profits and unrealistic incentives”. Following complaints against B4U, NAB also initiated an inquiry against the company and asked the victims to contact its Rawalpindi office along with details of investments.

Meanwhile, owners of B4U, Saifur Rehman and his son Ahmar, filed a pre-arrest bail application in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) to avoid arrest by NAB. The duo was granted interim bail till June 9, 2021. B4U CEO Saif skipped the last court hearing as he reportedly “tested positive for coronavirus”.

NAB opposed the bail plea. In its response to the plea, it apprised the high court that that CEO’s companies were in loss. The profit made by them for the public was apparently unrealistic, NAB said, asking the court to reject the bail plea. However, the court granted the bail and adjourned the hearing till June 9.

Saifur Rehman owns Bravo Cab (Hyderabad), Alfa Dream Land (Lahore), Haris Tower (Hyderabad), Gawali Malik Brand (Lahore). According to sources, these companies are not registered with the SECP or Association of Builders and Developers (ABAD).

Saif had also purchased land in Nooriabad (Sindh), Patori (Punjab), Islamabad, and Karachi.

HOW DOES B4U WORK:

The Malaysia-returned Pakistani uses a controversial multi-level marketing business model to offer people unrealistic and guaranteed profits, and Pakistani investors are falling for this purported scam.

Amid increased scrutiny by NAB at present, the company’s website is not currently active, but its offices are still operating in different cities of Pakistan, including Lahore. The company through its agents is running alleged financial scams and giving huge profits up to 7% to 20% on the investment.

“The accused company B4U is getting $50-$750 investment from each investor while asking them to bring more investors on board to earn more profit. One investor has to get seven more investors to complete the first step. After this, the profit of the first investor would double to 14%. This chain of investors would continue and each investor will have to bring seven more investors,” a source familiar with company workings told The Correspondent.

According to the sources in FIA and NAB, this financial scam has touched estimated Rs119 billion and the company is still disbursing profit to their investors and agents without any source of earnings — its Lahore office is still active as confirmed by this correspondent. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic in Pakistan, the company’s investment has increased and the number of investors had reached from 100,000 to 450,000 in the last year, the source claimed.

A source in the investigation agency claimed that the businesses being run by Saifur Rehman in Pakistan and Malaysia are “bogus”. “In fact, the real estate company [NAME] of B4U is not even registered with the Association of Builders and Developers (ABAD).

The SECP said that it has also received a number of complaints and queries regarding B4U. This entity is raising unauthorised deposits from the general public in the name of different investment plans. It is clarified that “B4U” is not registered with the SECP; however, working through its different companies registered with SECP and legal proceedings against these companies and its directors has already been initiated.

ACTION AGAINST B4U:

The authorities have placed Saif and his son Ahmar on the Exit Control List (ECL) after allegations of fraud surfaced against them, sources claimed.

According to the sources in FIA, the accounts of B4U Global/B4U Trading companies have been seized a few weeks ago, but the sources claimed that the amount in these accounts is not according to the investment scam that amounts to over 100 billion. The sources claimed they cannot disclose anything till the registration of the FIR against the accused persons.

The Correspondent tried to contact the company CEO, Saifur Rehman, multiple times, but he remained unavailable for comment. However, a company customer representative told The Correspondent on its helpline that the company was still operating in Lahore despite the probe against them. The representative, who identified himself as Hamza, said that things have been settled with NAB and that B4U is “safe to invest”.


The author is a senior business reporter with bylines in leading newspapers and magazines across Pakistan.

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