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SECP warns public against investing in Ismmart Group

By Our Correspondent
September 26, 2023

ISLAMABAD: The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) has warned the public against investing in a fraudulent scheme run by Ismmart Group, owned by Shaukat Ullah Khan, who is facing an inquiry by the anti-corruption agency.

"The SECP has noticed that an entity, namely Ismmart Group, owned by Shaukat Ullah Khan, is prima facie raising deposits from the public by promising them unrealistic monthly returns," it said in a statement. "It is clarified that the said entity does not hold any license to collect deposits from the public."

It is pertinent to mention here that SECP had imposed penalties on Shaukat Ullah Khan for marketing such illegal investment schemes through companies of Shaukat Marwat Group.

In addition, Khan has been disqualified from becoming chief executive or director of any company in Pakistan, and matter has been referred to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), which has already initiated an inquiry against him and his companies.

Since Khan is not eligible to form a company, he has registered 12 new companies through his family members and other associates. "Further, in order to give the public, the impression that Issmart Group is a large business group with a global presence, he has also registered a number of 1-pound companies with Companies House UK."

The names of companies of Ismmart Group have been added to the list of companies engaged in unauthorized activities, available on SECP’s website. SECP has also initiated investigation proceedings against companies of Ismmart Group. However, Khan has challenged the investigation proceedings in the Islamabad High Court, which has restrained SECP from passing the final investigation order.

"SECP warns the public not to deposit/invest funds with Mr. Shaukat Ullah Khan and companies of Ismmart Group in whatsoever form and or arrangement, as they are not allowed to accept deposits/ investments from anyone," the statement added.