While not a new story in that much of the background and documentary evidence has been reported elsewhere, it is worth setting out in full the multiple consumer complaints concerning the business practices of Imran Farooq and his citizenship consultancy firms that have been granted an exclusive marketing agreement by Alick Lawrence and Oriental Developers (Caribbean) Limited, the developers of the Anichi Resort & Spa project in Dominica, financed by the island’s citizenship by investment program.
Imran Farooq is the CEO of AAA Associates, a Dubai-based citizenship by investment immigration advisory firm, and also the CEO of another consultancy firm called Premiers, which deals with Canadian citizenship and residency.
Alick Lawrence, sometimes referred to as the “Pirate of Portsmouth”, is himself also a questionable individual who has brought Dominica nothing but shady characters via various business arrangements.
However, he enjoys a degree of impunity in Dominica because of his political influence and financial clout.
The “exclusive” relationship between Lawrence and Farooq is the latest in a long history of questionable moves that undermine the country.
Farooq’s family has been linked to money laundering allegations in Pakistan where they hail from, and Lawrence is the person now responsible for bringing them in and empowering them to defraud the government of Dominica.
The essence of the scheme run by Farooq is offering the real estate citizenship option though the Anichi project at a discount but all shares in the property are retained by the developer for resale to other investors, while keeping the original payment. In other words, defrauding the government of Dominica out of the donation option.
Here is a brief summary of the complaints easily found online regarding the business practices of Imran Farooq and Premiers in the past:
- “I’ve been duped by this agency […] DO NOT TRUST PREMIERS! […] Moreover I found out that lot of same cases are suffering from this fraud practice of Premiers.” (https://www.complaintsboard.com/complaints/premiers-uae-c222709.html)
- “I am writing this to inform everybody of the fraudulent and deceitful activities of Premiers Management Consultancy in Dubai […] This company preys on people wanting to migrate to US/UK/Canada & Australia by telling them that they fully qualify to immigrate & they should sign a contract, never asking the customer to read the fine prints of the contract. Their strategy is “JUST SIGN HERE & HERE & YOU ARE ALL SET TO GO, despite knowing that the customer does not qualify for migration. Once the customer realizes that Premiers Management & Consultancy are scammers & that he/she does not qualify and/or doesn’t have the appropriate documentation! They bring out the contract & claim, why didn’t you read the contract with all the fine prints before signing, which leaves the customer in no position to get any refund or justice done. Be aware & avoid these swindlers.” (https://www.complaintsboard.com/complaints/premiers-management-consultancy-c176367.html)
- “Staaaaaaaay away. They are f* – – *ken cheaters, they took my file and told me it’s 100% easy case. And there is still place in the quota. But i surprized after 6 monthes to get my file returned because of full quota!!! They knew that the quota is full but they just are liers. They lied about the fact that there is still place just to take the application and charge me non – refundable 1500 usd !!! Do not trust their fake hopes. Stay away from them to save ur money.” (https://www.complaintsboard.com/complaints/premiers-management-consultancy-fake-and-cheaters-dont-trust-their-smiles-c763385.html)
- “We have been deceived by this Agency (PREMIERS) as well […] They are really useless. We hired them to help us but in return they give us headache and to much burden. They will try all their best to make us stupid. They are giving lots of reasons or alibi’s for them to delay the refund of our money.”
- “they are smart cheaters and irrresponsible. i lost my money and i am struggling to get back my money, i dint get my visa just because of there irresponsibilites.and now they are not giving my money back.”
- “I am also a victim of Premiers. For all aspiring to get this company to process your application. please read all complaints in the internet first. They will fool you and made you belive that you are qualified but after your paid their service and issued posted check… your agony will start.”
- “This is a fraud company. Dubai Government should take action against them.”
- “I am also a victim. They are absolute cheaters. They are shady from the beginning.”
- “Premiers Sales agents cheat aspiring candidates by some way or the other. They tell lot of lies and in a dimly lit room, they will woo the candidate into submission for signing their notorious contract. The sales person will tell to sign here and there and any doubt the candidate may have is calmed down as if hypnotizing u by telling every thing will be fine, we will take care, 100% refund etc. NEVER TRUST THESE CHEATS.”
- “Premiers are a bunch of liars and crooks! We need to file an official complaint with the Canadian High Commission in Abu Dhabi! They are tarnishing the image of their own country i.e. Pakistan as well as Canada! I am surprised that Imran Farooq is still a member of CIC. He should get a lifetime ban!”
- “They are indeed cheaters… just one word for them FRAUD… People please be aware of them as they lack in every phase and they have had like 10 times police visit. But still no effect on them… big time cheaters.”
- “They are the biggest fraud company in the middle east. Rude and impolite service and once they have taken all the money from us they dont even seem to remember us.”
- “Recently victimized by this company. Trained to cheat!! Don’t waste your money on them! There are better companies than them who are honest and reliable.”
The government of Dominica must step up with answers.