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CEO of Zing Digicomm (Pvt) Ltd arrested on fraud charges

CEO of Zing Digicomm (Pvt) Ltd arrested on fraud charges

LAHORE: Ghazanfar Ali Khan, the CEO of Zing Digicomm (Pvt) Ltd – a fintech company providing branchless banking platform to banks – has been arrested for defrauding his business partner, Aurangzeb Khan. In a first information report (FIR), Aurangzeb Khan he co-founded Zing Digicomm with Ghazanfar Ali Khan in September 2016.

He alleges that in mid-2017 he secured a 50 million rupee investment from China and an additional 150 million rupee investment – worth a total $1.9 million at the time – to create a branchless banking service. Press releases from Summit Bank, Punjab Board of Investment and Trade, and Dubai Islamic Bank confirm that this was the principal offering by the business.

According to media, sources close to Aurangzeb Khan said that Zing Digicomm signed on multiple banks in Pakistan for a branchless banking platform in a bid to reach unbanked segments of the country. Aurangzeb Khan also allegedly attracted foreign direct investment (FDI) from China, where he is based.

With a banking and telecommunications background across Habib Bank Limited (HBL), Wateen, and PTCL, Ghazanfar Ali Khan was granted sweat equity to handle the top-line growth. Aurangzeb Khan claims that to date he has not seen a profit despite the business seemingly winning large contracts.

According to the SECP database, on the 9th of September 2016, Zing Digicomm was founded by Ghazanfar Ali Khan and Aurangzeb Khan, with an equity split of 34 percent and 66 percent respectively. The same database shows that on the 26th of October 2016, Zing Technologies was founded by Ghazanfar Ali Khan, with ownership split between him and one Umer Hayat Khan from HBL. Interestingly, in both cases, Nauman Javed Hasnain Rashid, an accounting firm, is named as the auditor.

According to the FIR filed by Aurangzeb Khan, Ghazanfar Ali Khan created his own similarly named businesses and routed closed deals to his own entity, duping customers and defrauding not only the principal partner but also investors. Speaking to Profit, sources close to Aurangzeb Khan claim that Ghazanfar Ali Khan forged signatures and documents to deceive customers into thinking they were locking a deal with Zing Digicomm instead of Zing Technologies.

Aurangzeb Khan claims that the deception has impacted his reputation in China and his subsequent credibility in bringing CPEC related projects to Pakistan. Sources told media that Ghazanfar Ali Khan is currently awaiting bail and has not been placed on an exit control list.

Speaking to media, Ghazanfar Ali Khan denied the charges and considers them to be allegations, adding that Zing Technologies offers services that do not resemble that of Zing Digicomm.