The license to run an embattled Dubai-based carbon trader Advanced Global Trading is about to expire, Rebel Economy has discovered, casting more doubt over this company’s plans to continue operating.
AGT, which Rebel Economy wrote about last week, has attracted suspicion for being an alleged boiler-room operation, where high pressure tactics such as cold-calling are used to sell a product that is often of little value.
The company, headed by British businessman Charles Stephenson, claims to sell claim to sell carbon credits to individuals with the promise of high returns, even though experts say there is no economic reason to invest in such a product other than to offset your carbon footprint.
Further suspicion was aroused earlier last month, when investors were contacted by AGT and informed that the voluntary credit market which they had invested in was about to crash, but the exit strategy would involve paying an extra $15,000.
But records from Dubai’s Department of Economic Development show that AGT’s license in Dubai will expire on June 4th 2013, which is tomorrow.
When asked whether the company will renew its license, AGT responded by re-sending this statement, which it produced last week, and is available online for Rebel Economy readers.
Instead, in the statement, AGT says it “has never changed its corporate name” and “has no plans to close operations.”
However, according to the last story Rebel Economy wrote, corporate records show the company has shut down affiliated companies including AGT “UK & Ireland”, AGT “Europe” and two offices in Abu Dhabi and Zurich in the last two years.
Former employees at the company also say the management, which includes Mr Stephenson and two main directors, Chris Middleton and Danny McGowan, are planning to open an office in the Dubai International Financial Centre under a new name.
According to one former employee who was fired last month but does not want to be identified, around 15 other employees were laid off last month, including the executive director, a Bahraini businessman called Ebrahim AlShaibeh. The company told its employees it was cutting costs and gave no other reason.
AGT is one of a wave of boiler-room scams that legal authorities and regulators are facing around the world. But in Dubai, which has become a hub for these type of scams, companies are harder to pin down in the absence of tougher rules and regulations.