Stories about fraud

Saif Ali Khan’s Baazaar may not be extraordinary but it surely is different

Baazaar is heavily inspired by the 1987 Michael Douglas-Charlie Sheen film, Wall Street. The movie revolves around Rizwan Ahmed who recounts his experience of the Mumbai stock market. The film chronicles the world of influential and calculative power brokers, business tycoons and industrialists. Rizwan (Rohan Mehra) is an educated and ambitious boy from Allahabad who comes to Mumbai to fulfil his dream of making it big and cracking the stock market. He idolises Shakun Kothari (Saif Ali Khan), who is a conniving and virile tycoon known famously for his business acumen in the world of the stock market. Rizwan sets off ...

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The Big Short: A Wall Street mockumentary

A story with multiple characters, the main one being Mark Baum (Steve Carell), about the world financial crisis in 2008 and highlights the greed, fraud and utter misery that occurred as a result of it. Miseries like unemployment, loss of housing, loss of pension, and the downfall of Wall Street firms. It starts off with the bombardment of finance related terminologies and people explaining the meaning of each term. The directors made this process entertaining by explaining it in unconventional ways; a memorable example of which was a scene when well-known chef and television show-host Anthony Bourdain talked about dumping ...

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Beware: You may be heading into (murderous) marriage

Marriage comes with its own set of doubts and insecurities. You might have heard it on the news, you might have seen it happen with someone you know – there are many stories about failed marriages all around us. Stories about how families have been fooled in the name of this sacred bond and have lost their life’s worth of savings. The increasing statistics about marriages being broken due to infidelity, fraud by the in-laws, husbands being abusive or having prior criminal record, paint a horrible picture of marriages in our country. The divorce rate has reached an alarming level and this ...

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For IDPs, the light at the end of the tunnel is a freight train coming their way

The much-awaited operation to clean the north western part of the country has finally started. It will hopefully rid us of the disease that has infected our country and as a result, the locals will hopefully be able to live without the constant fear of militants and hovering drones. However, due to the intensity of the operation, residents have been forced to leave their homes and live as refugees in camps in their own country; camps that are merely making ends meet for them. Hussein Khan, once a resident of Mir Ali in North Waziristan and now living in the Bannu refugee ...

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Of Ghani’s greed and our gullibility

Greed is a disease that infects us all and there are plenty of scoundrels in Pakistan who take innocent people for a ride. However, as people have become more aware of these scams and are less gullible now, these lowlifes have evolved and become more sophisticated. What I will narrate below is perhaps one of the most high-tech and elaborated scams I have come across so far. I, myself, was about to fall prey to this fraudulent scheme and hence I know about its logistics first-hand. Fortunately, we had the common sense to understand, at an early stage, that something was wrong with the scheme ...

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Confessions of a liar

I’m sorry but I had to impress you. I had to put up my best act to make sure you fall for it, compare me to other men you knew and conclude that I am the best. I always felt inferior to you. People around you made me feel vulnerable and insecure. There was an aura of romance and sensuality about you, I was bare. You were beautiful, I wasn’t. You had friends, I had responsibilities. You had money, I had dreams. Can I blame my insecurities for what I did? I felt I had to compete to get you and so I decided to cheat. Will you take that as a genuine ...

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Financial fraud in the Virgin Islands: Money laundering by the filthy rich

Located within the larger Caribbean region, the British Virgin Islands (BVI) are a British dominion, resembling paradise on earth and attracting over a million tourists annually. Famous for their enchanting landscape and white beaches, the Virgin Islands host wealthy vultures who have made these islands their second home by laundering money in to evade taxes in their countries of residence. In fact, these tiny islands may be hosting one of the largest financial fraud of the current times. Trillions of dollars are stashed into bogey financial institutions run by middle men and front men on behalf of the global money ...

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Teahouse conversations

One of the perils of working for a newspaper is that whoever you meet, feels entitled to discuss the state of affairs with you. They must tell you that these are the worst of times, that the current government is the most corrupt ever (citing some ballpark figures and rupee-dollar conversion rate as irrefutable evidence), that there are maps of a dismembered Pakistan circulating on the internet, and that the Chief Justice was an “epic fail” because he ran back to Islamabad instead of delivering a verdict on the Karachi suo motu case. They would then heave a deep sigh, condemn ...

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No gay girl in Syria: Lessons for the social media community

The mysterious “Gay Girl in Damascus,” who had been kidnapped, was recently revealed to be a hoax – not just a deception. The case has also been a great disappointment for blog readers and followers. It turned out that the blog was not written by a gay girl in Damascus, but a 40-year-old American man, who is currently on vacation with his wife in Turkey. The pictures used on the web page belonged to a woman in London, who had nothing to do with the blog at all. The news comes as a shock to the many who campaigned for Amina since ...

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Your daughter did not get in to KGS

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine called me on the phone. He sounded extremely excited, “My daughter got into Karachi Grammar School!” I was surprised as the KGS office wasn’t supposed to announce results until April 29. Curious, I decided to investigate. “Which grade?” I asked. “Nursery,” was the reply. “Who took the interview?” “Oh, we were not interviewed at all.” My friend explained that a distant relative had given him a registration form and he had taken his daughter for an admission test to the Marriot – where they were offered admission on the spot. “There were close to 20 other applicants,” my friend told ...

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