Wednesday, June 24, 2015
From Print Edition
ISLAMABAD: The National Accountability Bureau is investigating a doctor who has allegedly defrauded his hundreds of fellow US doctors of Pakistan origin of Rs4.5 billion in the name of investment and has now established a gigantic private hospital with the ill-gotten money.
Well-placed sources in the NAB told The News that complaints started pouring in from the overseas Pakistani doctors settled in North America that about 207 doctors have been deprived of Rs4.5 billion by another doctor who has dual nationality (of US and Pakistan) as neither the investors have been given any profit since 2007-08 nor they have been given any ownership in the hospital built from their money. Instead, the doctor has threatened his fellow doctors and his threatening emails have also been provided to the NAB, the sources said.
The sources disclosed that the total the number of defrauded doctors is 207 but NAB has received complaints from just over a hundred US doctors of Pakistan origin. The claims so far have reached $25 million but the total defrauded money is around Rs4.5 billion, the sources said.
The NAB first verified the complaints after which Chairman NAB Qamar Zaman Chaudhary authorised an inquiry into the issue.
Details reveal that a company, whose name also contains word global, was registered with the authorised capital of Rs20 million and its paid-up capital was Rs5,633,150. The complaints lodged with the NAB further reveal that the doctor is a US citizen who with the active participation of his co-accused planned to extort money from Pakistan origin doctors practising in North America. He started collecting investment in the name of fake partnership claiming a project of the company. He collected over Rs30 million (in dollar terms) from each of 207 partners. The official website of the project shows the number of partners at 178. The accused and his colleagues collected the money in US dollars through pay orders and cheques in the name of the company as well as in his own name on the promise of substantial profit on the investment and its full security. Since 2007/2008 over Rs4.5 billion are in unauthorised use of the accused and his colleagues who are issuing the investors by issuing low-priced share certificates of the company at higher value. In this way a company which had paid-up capital of 5.6 million in 2009, showed in 2011 its paid-up capital as Rs3 billion. As per law there is no company incorporated under the Company Ordinance 1984 by the name of the hospital. Therefore, no question arises for the formation of the hospital board. So far as the company is concerned there are 7 persons on the board of directors and it is being used as a shield to give a cover to the culprits.
That the accused extorted money on different pretexts; has even violated the US security rules in soliciting investment being a US citizen from a US citizen. The accused routinely visited US and rented a booth at the Association of Physicians of Pakistan descent of North America’s (APPNA) summer meeting and solicited investors by selling partnership and shares of QIH/GHS to doctors of Pakistan descent living and working in USA. Each year over 15,000 doctors attend this annual meeting. The accused did not have licence to sell shares/securities in USA and selling shares without a licence is illegal in USA.
That the accused had committed gross violation of Companies Ordinance 1984 and undertaking made by them by inviting investment against law and committed fraud with public at large and NAB is legally obliged to take cognizance. A few examples of the illegal acts of accused and functioning of GHS Limited are as under:
i. Shares of the company are being offered to the new shareholders without giving “Right Shares” opportunity to the existing shareholders.
ii. Shares in huge quantity are allotted in the name of the accused CEO of the company, which subsequently are sold at exorbitant price to the new shareholders by misrepresenting the alleged value of building and land of the hospital. The hospital is built on disputed land, to the best of our knowledge. Mr Asif Shafi, of Bombay Plywood Industries claims to be the original and absolute owner of the land.
iii. Shareholders never received audited accounts of the company so they are unable to ascertain the book value or breakup value of the shares of the company. Shareholders have been provided with bogus accounting audits of the hospital.
iv. Shareholders never received notices of the general meetings and notices for election of directors thus depriving them of their right to contest election of directors, resultantly in all the members on the board being blood relatives or other family members of the accused.
v. Many doctors on the inducement of the accused and co-accused have deposited cheques enclosing their hard earned money but they neither received the acknowledgment of such investment nor received share certificates to the extent of their investment.
vi. Different rooms of the hospital have been sold to numerous investors without any properly executed sale agreement. These rooms are never transferred in the name of buyers in the concerned revenue record. The number of rooms sold so far has not been communicated to the shareholders or intimated to SECP and none of its annual reports contains such information.
vii. The accused continued to push his grand plans of extorting more and more money from investors by launching another very tempting investment scheme – attracting investors into buying shares of hotel project on the hospital premises.
The accused and his gang applied similar modus operandi for extortion of over Rs4.5 billion in the name of fake partnership without any registered entity of the hospital. Many examples have also been quoted in the complaints.
The accused and his co-conspirators spread a net to cheat Pakistan origin doctors working in USA who believed him and in this way the culprits extorted US dollars equivalent to over Rs4.5 billion. This act is against Banking Law, SECP as well as laws enforced in the country. The accused have also violated the US security laws. This criminal act also calls for action under money laundering in addition to committing a clear fraud with public at large giving bad name to Pakistan and also causing agony and hardship to Pakistan origin US citizens, doctors who wish to serve the nation.