In a recent development in the much talked about MerexMarkets forex scam, Abdalrahman Alimari, founder and CEO, has asked the court to be granted conditional bail to activate the license of his company so that he can pay back the victims’ monies.
MerexMarkets is facing charges of cheating of more than 4,000 investors to the tune of $53 million, according to some unaudited estimations. The news of the accused owner’s bail request has generated a wave of outrage amongst the duped investors, who asked the Egyptian central bank to be involved in the case since the current investigating authority may lack the required experience of handling forex related scams.
The clients’ claims could be true since MerexMarkets does not in fact hold a regulatory license and operated in the past as a money management company rather than a brokerage. However, Alimari could be talking about his regulated forex firm, CommexFX, which had its CIF authorization suspended by CySEC in July 2015. Interestingly, CommexFX’s website has been down since June 2016 but CySEC has not commenced proceedings for the withdrawal of its Cypriot Investment Firm (CIF) license, although the regulator further extended the license suspension back in August 2015.
The Cyprus registration for CommexFx LTD lists ABDEL RAHMAN KHEDR ABDEL RAHMAN EL AMARY as the sole stockholder. While some fraudulent companies may have falsely believed that they were safe from detection because they used fake names and addresses as well as secure VoIP phone lines, this wasn’t the case with Omari as he used a Cypriot vehicle to double his shop’s gains.
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However, Omari seems to write his name in many ways. When he was at Prime4x, he went by Abdel Rahman El Omari. The address Omari gave to CySEC was 90 El Hegaz Street, Helioupolis Square, Cairo, Egypt.
The waiting game
In a telephone call, one of the lawyers representing the victims before the Financial Court in Cairo told Finance Magnates that the waiting game had already begun since Abdalrahman was arrested in 2015. “I had a feeling someone as terrible as Omari wouldn’t settle for sitting back with all the money he’s already taken.”
He added that Omari kept making excuses and he previously asked for conditional bail to help him bring the money owed back to Egypt. Last October a scene of high drama was witnessed after Abdalrahman revealed for the first time that he has many bank accounts and stocks holdings in the UK and Dubai, amongst other places. A special joint committee was created for this purpose but cancelled a few weeks later as he failed to prove the latest claims. It’s obvious that this was just another excuse to delay paying traders.
Another source familiar with international law briefly stated a list of false claims that Omari made in the last year, including that Egyptian rules regarding money transfer are the reason for not being able to transfer customers’ balances. In addition, he said the problem was that the CEO left the company and then claimed that CySEC suspended his license, but after some victims contacted the Cypriot regulator they were told that he can, and in fact is obliged to, send the money to customers without the license.
Concerning the CEO’s departure and CommexFX’s management, we have this info from an anonymous source that asked not to be identified: