Arrest of former Salai Chairman
Concern of investors
To thousands of people, the arrest of Narengbam Samarjit, former Chairman of Salai Group of Companies, their main and perhaps only concern would be, ‘What about the money we have invested in the company ?’ Tough to say how the money can be recovered, but at the moment, thousands of investors will definitely fall into the category of ‘duped investors.’ A whooping interest rate of 3 percent monthly or 36 percent annually. This was the offer made by the Salai Group and not surprisingly many found this too attractive to pass. It also stands that majority of the ‘duped’ investors are all small time traders, those who have just retired from service and those with a little saving with dreams of investing their hard earned money in schemes or ventures which promise handsome returns. And it appears that Manipur has a good number of such people, people who want quick, handsome returns without really going through the question of how feasible is it for a private company to offer 3 percent interest monthly. Ponzi scheme, this is what the NIA has dubbed the self titled, Salai Group of Companies. Most simply put, a Ponzi scheme may be understood as a non-existent entity which maintains an illusion of doing sustainable business, attracting investors who do not demand the full repayment as they are satisfied with the monthly interest they receive and continue to repose full faith in the assets of the company which actually do not exist. Other than the charge of floating a Ponzi scheme and luring a number of gullibles to invest in the non-existent assets of the firm, the interest of NIA would be on the declaration of the formation of a Manipur State Council-a Government in exile and separation from India, on October 29, 2019.
It is not yet clear how much money has been collected from the gullible investors, who were on the lookout for some quick and big returns from their savings or earnings, but it could be in terms of crores and this is what says something about the mentality of quite a large number of people of Manipur. A 3 percent return monthly or a 36 percent return annually. This was the offer made by Salai and it was this which had drawn the ire of some conscientious folks of Manipur, with some of them questioning the rationale of such a high return, when financial institutions all over the country offer well below an interest rate of 9 percent annually. That such questions were raised however did not seem to bother a number of investors and today it is not clear whether their hard earned money will ever be returned. To many more the former Chairman of Salai Group is not much more than someone, who exploited the ‘get rich quick’ approach of the Manipuri people and while it is not yet clear in which direction the case will proceed, what is clear is that a number of investors have been left high and dry. Let a lesson be drawn from the fiasco that has happened for the possibility that there could be so many more such schemes cannot be written off. Ultimately it is left to the people to be wary of any such schemes and to be very, very careful of where and how they invest their hard earned money. At the same time it should also be remembered that all investments come with a degree of risk but when the return is higher, that too abnormally higher then people should wise up to the ‘abnormal’ part.