Investors Swindled as UAE Company Owner & Staff Make Off With Millions

Investors have been left high and dry by an apparent embezzlement scheme. Is it mismanagement or outright robbery?

May 15, 2024 - 16:52
May 15, 2024 - 22:27
Investors Swindled as UAE Company Owner & Staff Make Off With Millions

Only last week, the office of the Blue Chip Group investment company in Bur Dubai’s Al Jawahar Centre, was as busy as a beehive. But now it appears the firm's trusting clients have been stung and how! Staff donning suits and talking big business had characterised the bustling location. This, while unsuspecting subscribers were lured into making investments across sectors like real estate, gold mining, crypto currency and the equity market. Indeed, this diverse portfolio was to the tune of 700 million USD and boasted a clientele of more than 700. A Khaleej Times report made these shocking revelations after a journalist from the paper visited the company premises and spoke to the distressed investors. 

An Offer They Couldn’t Refuse

How could the poor folks turn down an enticing pitch of a 3% monthly return on a 10,000 USD investment - signed in for a mere year-and-a-half! A deal too good to be true, right? Unfortunately, the investors are now learning the hard way that that’s indeed what it was. In a dramatic turn of events, they have been left high and dry with unanswered phone-calls and bounced cheques while the office premises stands completely vacated! Yes, the owner, founder and CEO – Ravinder Soni - and his 70-person strong staff have gone AWOL.

While stunned victims of this apparent scam are taking stock of their humungous losses, they can’t even do so on the firm’s online service. Blue Chip Group’s listing on Myfxbook, which was up and running till Tuesday, May 14th, 2024, mysteriously disappeared the following day. The latest development has only added to the anguish of all the robbed parties. 

The Losses    

So what is the volume of losses per head that we are looking at? In documentation shared with the Khaleej Times, 90 individuals have seen 17 million USD slip through their fingers. Many of the fraud victims were Indians like Saiprava and Maheej who took loans of 36,000 AED (over 9,000 USD) and AED 70,000 AED (19,000 USD) respectively, to make credit card investments.

Image source: Khaleej Times

In an more even shocking case, shipping company employee from the Ras Al Khaimah emirate – Ehtisham - is on the verge of complete financial ruin, having invested a staggering 485,000 AED (132,000 USD). Meanwhile, Salim M. who has been cheated out of 492,000 AED (134,000 USD), says this is only the “tip of the iceberg”, since the bogus whatsapp groups alone amount to 345 subscribers. 

Bollywood’s Role?

Meanwhile, implicated Bollywood stars like Sonu Sood are insisting on their innocence in the scam. Sood was present at a Dubai hotel in July 2022 when the Blue Chip tokens were launched. However, the celebrity insists that his attendance at the event does not mean that he endorsed the company in any way. Furthermore, the actor-humanitarian says that he will do whatever possible to aid the aggrieved persons. 

After Blue Chip Group’s operations started going awry between April 15th and 20th 2024, company managers cited regulatory problems which were freezing the movement of funds. Subsequently, firm operatives assured disgruntled investors of refunds and 10% additional payouts through trading wallets. But none of the promises have been kept while the errant parties are evidently on the run.

Ronak Kotecha Senior Journalist and seasoned content creator with 18-years-experience at channels like Times Now, NewsX, Zoom and Radio City. Now, Rotten Tomatoes accredited global critic for the Times of India and BBC India Correspondent in Dubai. Talk show host at Talk100.3, tune in weekdays at 11 am on talk1003.ae