Adnan Ali

If you are here looking for Adnan Ali, then you will find him on http://www.adnanali.org.

Adnan Ali is a Search Optimization, Search Marketing and Social Media Strategy professional from Lahore, Pakistan. 

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Double Your Money - Pakistan Authorities Arrest Miracle Worker

Syed Sibtul Hassan Shah was arrested by the Ghakar police on Friday the 13th, April 2007. He was wanted in a Pakistan Rs. 30,000 robbery case registered against him. These facts alone do not make it a worthwhile event for me to blog but the details behind the accused makes it a peculiar case altogether. An overwhelming majority would not recognize his name, but thats only because he was famous by his other name.

"Pir Double Shah"

A Pir is a leader of masses, mostly spiritual in nature. Some one who is well in advance of others in the Sufi brotherhood. These days most conmen become pir because they are known to have a special ability to solve problems and help in acceptance of prayers.

Pir Double Shah got his name because he convinced the masses around his village that he could double their money in as little as fifteen days.

It all started three years ago. When Syed Sibtul Hassan Shah was a school teacher. No one expected much more from him as he was understood as a reasonable person going about his life. Then it started to happen. He borrowed a small amount from a friend and returned double the amount within fifteen days. Finding this interesting, more and more people started 'investing' in the school teacher and behold, every time he returned double on the investment. Soon, there were bigger and bigger amounts invested and he earned people's trust by continuously being ontime with the double payment. A folklore was born, and the man in the middle of it was aptly named Pir Double Shah.

As the so called 'business' expanded, dozens of people started working as the Pir's agents. Taking the fantasy to others they knew, they would earn upto 5% of every investment they brought in. Many white collar, blue collar, and well to do families invested, starting with small amounts, and then often investing back every thing they earned from the Pir. Soon the payback time increased gradually from fifteen to thirty days, and eventually to seventy days.

It is said that the Pir has so far made transactions of over 40 billion Pakistani Rupees.

When the populace complained of this alternative banking system, the local authorities investigated. But the results were amusing as most of the investigators became investors themselves.

The tale comes to an abrupt ending as the Pir is arrested from his residense. The police recovers Pakistan Rs. 17 million. As the masses found out about the arrest, thousands gathered around his house to protest the arrest and demanded his immediate release.

It is a tale of a con artist, who used and misused the lack of literacy in his surroundings, and the viral marketing tool of word of mouth to spread his wings in more than 5 cities through 3 branches of his business. The authorities, now acting upon a Rs. 30,000 complaint, have acted when many thousands have lost millions of their savings. It was not the first time such a hoax was perpetrated in the world, but this one was one of the most organized and personalized to the local conditions.

3 comments:

gurria said...

an interesting bit of information shared in an interesting manner! this gives us realization of the fact that people can always find really unique ways of hoodwinking other people.it sure makes the world an exciting place!

Adeel said...

Our society suffers deeply due to lack of religious education. It's very unfortunate to see these sort of people exploit this. The only way to solve this problem if to spread religious awareness. We shouldn't let a Pir make faith based decisions for us. We all have an open line with Allah, his book for guidance and his Prophet's (pbuh) sunnah as an example.

Adeel said...

Our society suffers deeply due to lack of religious education. It's very unfortunate to see these sort of people exploit this. The only way to solve this problem is to spread religious awareness. We shouldn't let a Pir dictate matters of faith to us. We all have an open line with Allah, his book for guidance and his Prophet's (pbuh) sunnah as an example.

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