In August, 2018, an investment advisor in the USA, Calvert Capital Partners, LLC was under contract with US AG Holdings, Inc. to obtain investment capital for a $69 million USD project. As part of his prospecting he was approached by a company in Dubai and Bahrain, named Al Salwa Investments, LLC.(Asalwa) After an exchange of our business plan, Alsalwa produced a letter of interest offering a 6 year loan for $69million USD. To secure this opportunity it was requested that we pay a registration fee of $28,500. Our broker and us had done extensive due diligence with research and through business associates in DuBai and found nothing but legitimate information on the company, including people with the names and positions at Al Salwa. As skeptical as I was, our broker paid the fee, amounting to a $29,800 with a processing fee. Further communication ensued and we received letters of guarantees and a final term sheet. Closing meetings were setup and an additional request for money was made. This time it was $35,800 for a Special Value Purpose account setup at the Commercioal Bank in Dubai. Again, after further due diligence and by the faith I had with our broker, I personally paid the $35.8K. The money came from a personal account and was held up by the Central Bank for investigation for fraud which was known to be common against private citizens. Finally, under time constraints, they advised we recall the wire and resend via our business account. We received the money back and did rewire. Once the money arrived in Dubai, they scheduled the closing meeting. The next thing that should have been the most bright red flag was that the agreed to wire is the first tranche of the investment, a $40million usd amount. They sent me a wire confirmation which looked official to my bank, as well. Out of policy, the bank filed a suspicious activity report(SAR) and Al Salwa indicated a clean report was required to release the funds to our account. They stated the amount was .05% of the total or $40k USD. At this point, my suspiciuons were at maximum volume and I contacted the Emirates Bank, the DFSA and Al Salwa(the real company). Emirates Bank said the document was fake and no such account existed at the bank. Now, I demanded a complete refund of our $65kUSD and reported this fraud to the Dubai Financial Services Authority(DFSA), the FBI and Interpol. Some of the key idicators of fraud were: the actual Al Salwa had a different URL then two of the scammers URL’s. The lead scammer abruptly switched from email communication to Skype. Communication to Dubai was always during Dubai’s late night hours and on weekends. Confident of their authenticity, we lost $65k. We doubt we will ever see this money again, but will pursue the criminal authorities to the best of our capabilities. This entire process lasted 90 days.
West Tower, King Faisal Hwy Manama, Bahrain Bahrain
International Investment Banking Fraud, Investment Brokers