Ponzi operandi: Affinity fraud risk for shari'ah-compliant investment funds

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Nathie, Mahmood
Drew, Jacqueline
Drew, Michael
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2012
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Ponzi schemes using the principles of affinity fraud are a real and current risk for Islamic investors. This paper examines the use of affinity fraud in targeting the Islamic community and analyses Shari'ah norms that seek to protect people from fraud and cheating. Using case studies from three countries, the paper identifies the common traits pervasive in Ponzi schemes including legal ruses aimed at circumventing the Shari'ah interdiction on interest and other proscriptive acts by unscrupulous and fraudulent operators. The examination shows that the nascent Islamic finance market should be vigilant of copycat schemes that have the potential to undermine the industry. Like other affinity frauds, there is the need to develop early warning systems aimed at preventing, or at least minimising, the prevalence of such schemes in the Islamic financial industry.

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ISRA International Journal of Islamic Finance
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Finance
Criminology not elsewhere classified
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