ISLAMABAD, May 4: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB), Rawalpindi, has unearthed another double Shah-like scam in which a large number of people were deprived of their hard-earned money in the name of ‘attractive investment’ in local and international markets.

The bureau started an inquiry against a firm called UNAICO Pakistan involved in the scam and sealed its office in Saudi-Pak Tower in the federal capital.

It also froze three bank accounts of the firm and put the name of its chief executive on the exit control list (ECL).

“The firm had been operating for the last four years and according to its staff it had more than 12,000 permanent members,” a senior official of NAB in Rawalpindi told Dawn on Friday.

He said NAB investigators believed that the number of the firm’s clients could be more than that disclosed by its staff.

He said total investment of the people with the company was said to be over Rs300 million.

“We have seized three bank accounts of the firm which contain Rs140 million,” the official said.

Atif Kamran, the main character of the scam and owner of the company, is on the run but his name has been put on the ECL.

The NAB team visited the office of the company and observed that there was no documentary record of the people’s investment because all the transactions were web or internet based.

According to an official press release, NAB Rawalpindi initiated the inquiry against the company after receiving a report from the State Bank of Pakistan regarding suspicious transactions in its accounts.

Initial verification of the record revealed that the company, registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), was involved in the illegal business of MLM (multi-level marketing) by enticing the general public for investments.

The company was running an illegal scheme; therefore, the SECP had placed a warning in the press, asking the public to refrain from investing in UNAICO or involving in any transaction with it.

The warning had clearly notified that the company’s business was illegal and not authorised by SECP.

“NAB Rawalpindi is in the process of contacting all members/investors of the company to approach the bureau office to verify their claims and record their statements for legal action against the company.”