Published: Wednesday, Feb 16, 2011, 15:25 IST
By Himansh Dhomse | Place: Ahmedabad | Agency: DNA
Remember the 2008 US recession that left the world in an unprecedented financial crisis? At the root of it were several Ponzi schemes that eventually went phut and plagued the US economy impacting global economy.It seems that even Ahmedabad might be having its own share of Ponzi schemes. Bankers claim fraudulent financiers are duping investors.And there are fears that at some point, like the MLM (multi-level-marketing) scams, these too sink fortunes of lakhs of common people in the city. We examine whether the ‘Takewali companies’ are a smart way to get rich or a trap.
Imagine investing Rs1 lakh in an ‘investment scheme’ which returns Rs2 lakh after 6 months. Or how about forking out just Rs3,000 in another ‘one-time investment, 50-month scheme’, and receive cumulative returns like Rs1,000 at the end of fourth month, Rs2,000 at the end of tenth month, Rs4,000 in the 15th month and so on… finally to receive Rs5,12,000 in the 50th month!
The total payout amount in this ‘scheme’ is eye-popping Rs10,23,000. Or how about ‘investing’ Rs1 lakh and reap a ‘profit’ of Rs5,35,000 at the end of 12th months? Not sure you can stomach the risk?What’s more, no ifs and buts, these are guaranteed returns.On an average, these firms give anywhere in the range of 9% – 25% return on investment per month — this at a time when banks are struggling to give 8% annual return on fixed investment.
Tempted to ‘invest’, aren’t you? You’ll be joining the league of over lakhs of such ‘investors’ from all over Gujarat, mainly Ahmedabad, who have parked their money with such ‘investment firms’.Some 34-35 of such firms have cropped up in Muslim ghetto areas like Jamalpur, Juhapura, Astodia, Sarkhej, Shah-e-Alam etc and this number keeps multiplying every week.
As several thousands of investors have received the promised returns over the past few months, these investment schemes have become immensely popular and it is now difficult to find a household that has not parked at least some funds.Sources confide even well-placed educated families are known to have invested. In many areasthe distributors, so called agents of these companies, market their schemes. For investors, the distributor is the only face of the company.
But every month, the agent comes to home of the investor to deliver the cheque which is the 10% return per month.“We have branch in Juhapura where people have been withdrawing money to invest in such schemes. I was shocked to hear about such scheme which is offering return of 10% per month on investments,” said zonal manager of Bank of India, BB Joshi.
According to Joshi, few months back, it was difficult for banks to give even 10% return per annum and for doubling the investment it takes eight to nine years.“While in these schemes, these companies are giving 10% return per month and doubling the investment in just 10 months. It is impossible. It has to be a scam or fraud which people will realise soon,” said Joshi.