I have been hearing about ordinary Pakistani’s losing money in fake property development schemes since I have been a kid. I could never understand why the relevant authorities did not put a stop to such duplicities, until I found out how these schemes are operated. All these fake development schemes are created by a criminal mastermind, called a developer, who pays off many government employees and hires a bunch of property dealers to help him sell fake properties files to investors without possessing any property or doing any development work.

Using the business model of the stock exchange, where share prices change daily, the plot-files also change the rate of “on” commission daily as well. Similarly this high amount of money is exchanged over a piece of paper and there is no involvement or requirement to procure any land. The developer takes away all the initial down payments and the monthly regular payments for his/her own use, which is normally invested in other businesses or deposited in long term investments in other countries.

The property dealers convince investors to buy the plot-files, in hopes of getting guaranteed return on their investment in short time. But after purchasing, the investor is told the value has plummeted, forcing him to either sell at loss or pay the monthly scheme payments, in hopes of plot file value going up in the future.

This way ordinary Pakistani hard earned investment is taken away by the developer, while no development work is done, no taxes are paid and in most cases the investors lose money. The property dealers speculate and resell the plot-files to investors over a period of many years, making lots of commission for themselves. The relevant authorities are not interested in stopping this process because they are also getting a share. Therefore I hope that by revealing the mechanics of this elaborate scheme of property developers to cheat investors in Pakistan, than less people might fall prey to such flagrant cheaters. I also hope that the FBR and NAB might investigate the property dealers and developers that are involved in such businesses, since the Ministry of Housing is not interested in protecting the public from such cheaters.

ENGR. SHAHRYAR KHAN BASEER,

Peshawar, February 21.