NZ ComCom sends written warning to Validus promoters Davina Maasi and Shamir Khan

The Commerce Commission has warned a pair of prominent Validus promoters they could face a fine of up to $200,000.

Davina Maasi and Shamir Khan received a written warning from the Commerce Commission

The warning has been the latest after the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) declared in December it never had issued a license for the highly controversial finance company.

Validus International LLC is registered in the US state of Delaware and Validus-FZCO is based in Dubai.

Validus had been banned permanently in New Zealand after the Financial Markets Authority (FMA)  made a permanent stop order (Order) that applies to Validus International LLC (Validus), Validus-FZCO, and associated persons of Validus.

The FMA said what was presented at a Validus seminar in New Zealand was false or misleading, or likely to mislead or confuse, because it related to an offer of financial products which did not exist or was materially different from that described.

“Seminar attendees were induced to purchase, purchased or intend to purchase, educational packages in reliance on false or misleading representations,” the FMA said.

NBR last November reported the Validus courses or packages had to be purchased with cryptocurrencies and ranged in price from US$50 (NZ$80) up to US$10,000 (NZ$16,145)

Document recently released to NBR under Official Information Act revealed that the Commission “strongly suspects” Validus was a pyramid scheme because it rewarded members for recruiting others to join, but it could not “categorically” prove it was.  

The regulator “singled out” local woman Davina Maasi and Auckland man Shaziz “Sharmir” Khan as the main promoters of Validus in New Zealand. Adding that they held more than 20 in-person events i 2022.

The Commerce Commission however considered that the risk presented to New Zealand consumers through the promotions of Validus and the promoters “is currently low”.

It also sent out “compliance advice letters” to both Ma’asi and Khan, which it said it would be “educative”.

The letter waned them that breaches of the Act could result in fines up to $200,000.

As Kaniva News has reported previously, Validus has made inroads into the Tongan community in New Zealand and has established a foothold in Tonga.

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