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High Court orders return of £1m to victims of shares scam’

PUBLISHED: 22:06 09 February 2009 | UPDATED: 14:02 05 October 2010

TWO men said to be involved in a £1 million investment scam’ have been ordered by London’s High Court to pay the money back. An order was obtained by the Financial Services Authority to make Aniz Manji return £1m to investors and Suresh Bhowan repay £17,233

By Mike Brooke

TWO men said to be involved in £1 million illegal investments’ have been ordered by London’s High Court to pay the money back.

An order was obtained by the Financial Services Authority to make Aniz Manji return £1m to investors and Suresh Bhowan repay £17,233.

But it is unlikely the duped investors will ever see a penny, a spokeswoman at the authority’s Canary Wharf HQ in East London has confirmed.

The investors were victims of a scam operated by overseas entities which sold shares to investors in Britain, the authority said.

Manji was the owner of Bayshore Nominees, described as the London front’ in the operation. Bhowan was the sole director.

HOW SCAM WORKED

Investors were encouraged to buy worthless shares during cold calls’ from two unauthorised share sellers—known in the markets as boiler rooms’—Gatemore Securities and Enterprise Analytics.

Bayshore sent out confirmation notes requiring payment from investors and arranged transfers, then sent the money it received to other bank accounts then to off-shore accounts.

But a High Court judge declared at a February 5 hearing that Bayshore had broken the law by acting without authorisation and that Manji and Bhowan had been knowingly concerned in it.

The judge, Mr Justice Floyd, also declared that Gatemore and Enterprise Analytics had illegally promoted the shares.

Bayshore, Manji and Bhowan agreed through lawyers to the making of the Order.

NO CASH BACK

But the Financial Services Authority’s head of retail enforcement, Jonathan Phelan, said after the hearing: “Consumers in most cases will never see any of their money again.

“They should ensure any firm they deal with is authorised, or they stand to lose some or all of their investment.”

Gatemore and Enterprise Analytics operate in the Spanish city of Barcelona, the authority has told the East London Advertiser. Aniz Manji is also thought to be abroad.

The authority’s spokeswoman told the paper: “We can issue bankruptcy orders, freeze assets, get injunctions.

“But that’s no guarantee to investors that they’ll get their cash back—even though lawyers for both men have agreed to pay the money back.”

Investors who have dealt with Bayshore are being asked to call the Financial authority’s consumer help-line on 0845-606 1234 in connection with any possible compensation.

But they cannot claim from the authority’s compensation scheme or lodge a formal complaint to the Financial Ombudsman, it warns, as the investments were not authorised.

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