Bahrain gold scheme victims to get back cash
Manama, December 1, 2010
Customers who claim they are victims of a bogus gold scheme in Bahrain could start getting their cash back this week, according to a top official.
The Star Mark Jewellery store opened four years ago, offering a gold scheme where people can invest BD10 per month and get the money back in gold at the end of it.
For each BD20 deposit, customers were given coupons and entered into a monthly raffle for a brand new car and other prizes.
Many low-income Indian workers, including men and women, reportedly invested their savings into the scheme.
The Indian Embassy launched an investigation last month after more than 200 people stormed the shop over two days.
They had queued near the shop for several hours, only to find out the owners had closed it down.
Customers claimed they were promised refunds and demanded to be paid the money they had invested.
Embassy first secretary Ajay Kumar said that the partners of Star Mark Jewellery would start giving back the gold to all the customers this week.
'As per the embassy instructions, the owners will repay the first instalment to all the customers within this week,' he said.
Bahrain Malayalee Business Forum (BMBF) general secretary Basheer Ambalayi told our sister newspaper Gulf Daily News (GDN) that a meeting will be held at the Bangkok Restaurant in Umm Al Hassam today to discuss how to distribute gold among customers.
'We have had many meetings with the partners to discuss the problem,' he said.
Ambalayi said that the final meeting would be held today to discuss plans on how to distribute the gold.
The GDN reported last week that the owners, who allegedly failed to pay their customers following the closure of a shop, have handed over 40 per cent of the outstanding cash.
The GDN reported last year that thousands of Gold Link customers were affected after it had been hit by a cash-flow crisis created by a rush of customers seeking to claim their gold.
Angry customers had gathered outside the jewellery shop in Gold City, claiming they had lost thousands of dinars. However, an official at the store said that customers would get their investments back.
The embassy later appointed a law firm to represent the customers' case, which is still going on.-TradeArabia News Service