A Karachi-based businesswoman and social media influencer has come under fire for allegedly robbing hundreds of women out of Rs 420 million by operating a sham committee ballot —which is a popular method of interest-free financing in Pakistan.
The woman who has been identified as Sidra Humaid, is the owner of a food business called ‘Daily Bites’ and a handicraft start-up ‘Cróise’. She told the nearly 200 contributors to a monthly ballot committee that she was ‘unable to pay them back’ after taking nearly Rs 420 million.
Humaid allegedly posted a statement on social media, meant to be an apology, announcing that she was ‘bankrupt’ and could not pay off her committee. “I have really messed up my committees and now I am practically bankrupt and have no means to pay off my committees,” she wrote.
“I started off with small committees and it worked well for me but as it grew and I opened more committees to help my friends and loved ones with their difficulties, I found myself in trouble of paying more and more money each month. To solve the monthly payments issue I had to start more committees and that eventually resulted in a rolling loop that had no end. Now I have to pay so much money, which I cannot even calculate,” the statement read.
In her statement she promised to pay each and every person back, however, social media users as well as members of the committee that were swindled have claimed that she is no longer replying to messages and her whereabouts are since unknown.
So far, it appears that the victims have not approached the FIA to lodge a formal complaint against Humaid.