Ajman: Ajman Free Zone has alerted authorities about Pakistani expat Chaudhary Hayyab Arif Kamboh who purportedly died in 2017 but has come back to life to scam overseas companies.
Hayyab’s ‘death’ was mourned by many.
MQM Television, which claims to represent Pakistan political party Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), even extended condolences to the family of the deceased in a Facebook post on July 21, 2017, praying that their “ideological worker” be granted the highest place in heaven.
The post was accompanied by a picture of Hayyab Arif lying dead with cotton balls plugged in his nostrils and a white burial shroud wrapped around his body.
Hayyab Arif’s younger brother Mian Zaryab also took to Facebook in August 2017 to talk about the pain of losing his brother.
As it turns out, Hayyab Arif is alive and allegedly busy conning exporters from his Ajman base.
Shortly after Gulf News blew the lid of the audacious multi-million dirham scam, Fatma Salem, acting Director General of Ajman Free Zone said: “At Ajman Free Zone, we welcome investors from many foreign countries and all have to go through an official business set-up process. When we previously became aware of this individual’s actions, we immediately took the necessary steps to alert the authorities”.
“Our advice to the suppliers who have suffered an ordeal is to consult with the relevant bodies including the courts,” Salem said in an email statement to Gulf News.
On October 23, Gulf News reported how scores of Indian and Indonesian exporters have been left devastated after losing millions of dirhams worth of fruits, vegetables, grains and foodstuff to H&MZ Global Worldwide, launched by Hayyab Arif in Ajman Free Zone almost 14 months after his supposed death in a road accident in Sharjah.
More victims step forward
Since the expose, several more exporters have come forward. Mumbai-based EMC International Export reported losing two containers of onions worth $14,700 while Indonesia’s CV Bintag which supplied wood charcoal estimated their losses at $31,000. Yet another company talked about losing thousands of dollars worth of drumsticks.
The growing list of victims also include exporters who dealt with Soha Arif Foodstuff FZE run by Hayyab’s younger brother Mian Zaryab and Hayyab’s second firm, Saya International. Both companies are located in Ajman Free Zone.
Tarun Kapoor of Benmoon Pharma Research Private Limited in Gujarat said they shipped 21 tonnes of cumin seeds worth $60,900 to Saya International on October 5.
Similarly, Apibee Natural Product Pvt. Ltd based in Uttar Pradesh sent 30 kilograms of natural honey valued at nearly $44,000 to Soha Arif earlier this month.
They were promised payment within 24 hours of delivery as per the terms of the purchase order. But the money never arrived. Instead the goods were sold to third parties for cash.
Indian Consulate urges caution
On October 24, the Consulate General of India in Dubai tweeted the Gulf News article and urged Indian exporters to exercise caution. “Indian exporters should adopt sound strategies, especially for payments to avoid such scams,” the Consulate General of India tweeted from its official handle.
Meanwhile, MQM has issued a statement disowning the MQM Television Facebook page and distancing itself from the issue.
In a statement issued from MQM International Secretariat London, the party’s spokesperson said: “MQM has nothing to do with the Facebook page MQM Television and a person named Chaudhary Hayyab Arif Kamboh.
"Few elements are using the name of MQM on social media for their ulterior motives and defaming the MQM.”
MQM Television which posted the news about Hayyab’s death said: “If Mr Kamboh has committed any fraud, he should be dealt with equally with other criminals. MQM condemns all such acts and does not support any criminal even though he/she may have close party affiliation. This is our policy and we stand by it.”