Bahrain gold scheme refund starts
Manama, December 2, 2010
Investors of a collapsed gold savings scheme in Bahrain have `started getting their gold back.
The first batch of 25 customers had gold handed to them at Star Mark Jewellery, located in Gold City in Manama, last night.
It followed a meeting earlier in the day at Bangkok Restaurant, Umm Al Hassam, to discuss how to distribute the gold among customers.
'We are going to call customers in groups to distribute the gold,' said owner Pauly Paul. 'We don't want to call them all at once as it would be a huge rush and I have to keep an account of all the coupons, which investors have to return to get back gold.'
Meanwhile, Paul also confirmed that Padothodi Hussain - a man he earlier claimed was his partner - had nothing to do with the investment scheme.
'Hussain is not my partner and he was just involved in opening a new business venture called New Star Mark Jewellery,' he added.
'He was not at all involved in the partnership. As I was going through the financial crisis, I thought that he would help me as he opened a new business at that time. But I don't have any dealings with Hussain.'
Customers had feared they would never get their money back after buying coupons from Star Mark Jewellery. They were supposed to exchange the coupons for gold at a later date, but panicked when the shop closed down.
However, they started getting the gold they are owed yesterday thanks to the intervention of the Indian Embassy.
The embassy had asked the Bahrain Malayalee Business Forum (BMBF) to ensure the problem was resolved.
'We have helped Paul to return 50 per cent of what he owes and the rest he will have to arrange on his own,' said BMBF general secretary Basheer Ambalayi.
Star Mark Jewellery opened four years ago and offered customers the chance to invest BD10 per month and get their money back in gold. For each BD20 deposit, customers were given coupons and entered into a monthly raffle for a brand new car and other prizes.-TradeArabia News Service