LONDON: A British Pakistani entertainment producer at the brink of financial ruin has launched a legal claim for the recovery of $300,000 from a family-owned Pakistani company based in Qatar — in the name of celebrated musicians Drake and Travis Scott for a music concert at Dubai Coca Cola Arena on May 28, 2021 — which never took place.
The claim has been launched by Birmingham-based Pervaiz Akhtar, who runs a company called Jazba Entertainment, against the Doha-based Quantum Sports & Media World (QSM World) and its directors Dawood Khan (Chairman & CEO of QSM World/Abalena Capital Limited), Chief Operation Officer (COO) Hossama Dawood Khan, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Suleyman Dawood Khan, COO Mehreen Dawood Khan and Vice-President Naeem Khan.
Akhtar claims in his lawsuit that he now realises that there was no Drake — whose full name is Aubrey Drake Graham — and Travis Scott concert planned in Dubai and that he was fraudulently convinced to bring money to QSM World in a fraud scheme by fellow Pakistanis as the company had no contract with the world-famous musicians or their management. He says that the publicity/investment material sent to the investors by QSM World’s Hossama Dawood Khan was a hoax.
Speaking to Geo News, Hossama, who represents QSM World confirmed receiving the money through Akhtar but claimed that his $3 million was forfeited by Drake and Scott management when the concert was cancelled. Representatives of both artists have said Hossama’s claim is a complete lie, no money was seized as there was no agreement in place. Managers of both artists have said they are surprised to know that the QSM directors made money in their names, using fraudulent material.
Evidence shows that Hossama and Naeem presented a concert investment proposal to Akhtar for a mega event called “Rhythm” featuring celebrity rappers Drake and Scott live in Dubai Coca-Cola Arena on May 29, 2021.
Akhtar did not invest his money but convinced Ranee Productions Limited from Kenya as an investor and partner for the Dubai concert with Drake and Scott. QSM World claims that it’s a global sports and media entertainment corporation.
On the guarantees provided by Hossama and Akhtar, Kenya’s leading Asian entertainment and showbiz promoter Rani Jamal transferred $250,000 to QSM World’s Qatar account towards the concert.
Once the money was transferred to Quantum Sports & Media World’s Doha Bank Account ( 222/981381/1/10/0 and SWIFT Code: DOHBQAQA) on 23/04/2021 and 04/05/2021 QSM World executives, according to Akhtar, started ignoring him and didn’t release the concert material that was supposed to be released soon after the money transfer.
It was within 14 days after receiving $250,000 that QSM World Executive Hossama told the investor that the concert has been postponed but provided no further details.
Akhtar’s lawyer writes in the legal claim letter: “The monies received from the investor were immediately withdrawn from your company account and stipend fraudulently amongst the company representatives without the intention of the funds to be used for the purpose of the said event. This is a criminal act by your company to falsely present a business proposal and extort investor funds for personal use.”
The letter says that it was after the money was paid that the artist Drake’s management team confirmed that there was no contract between QSM World for any Dubai Tour in 2021.
“From this, it is evident that your company and its representatives fraudulently created a false event to extort money from my client’s investor, who in good faith invested the money on assurances given by my client. My client on several communications was assured that the money would be refunded by your company and kept waiting for the investor to be refunded their full payments but finally, the company and its representatives did not take note of this matter which shows your companies and its representative’s intention of cheating and fraud.”
When the investor put pressure on Akhtar, he visited Qatar four times between October 2021 and July 2022 and met QSM World’s executives who assured him that the investment with interest (a total amount of $300,000) will be returned but each time he would return to the UK the QSM World executives would make excuses. The last meeting was held in Qatar and was moderated by Mohammed Al-Rohaimi who has provided local sponsorship to the Pakistani family. It was decided during the meeting — attended by Dawood Khan, Maheen Dawood Khan and Hossama Dawood Khan — that the money will be returned to the investor but Akhtar faced the same issue when he was back in Birmingham as the family went back on their word.
Rohaimi confirmed that he organised the meeting and it was agreed during the meeting that the QSM World executive will return money to the British Pakistani victim. “It’s unfortunate that Dawood’s have broken their promises and failed to return the money. I am aware there was no agreement for any concert and what has happened is a scam.”
Speaking on behalf of QSM World and the rest of the executives, Hossama denied that QSM World had marketed any opportunity to invest in the Drake and Travis Scott concert.
However, when shown a 9-page pitch to Akhtar advertising “Drake Asia Tour” and projecting an estimated AED16,133,000 ($4,420,000) revenue from the concert, Hossama said: “There were plans for a concert but unfortunately because of failure from the investor side it had to be postponed/cancelled. There is a proper and detailed agreement in place which defines everyone’s responsibilities. Clause 2.1 of the agreement wasn’t fulfilled by the investor, which makes the investor stands as violating and breach of agreement, non-fulfilment of the agreement by investor resulted in complications.”
However, the evidence paints a different story. In a letter dated April 5, 2021, QSM World’s Naeem Khan wrote to Rani Jamal of Ranee Productions: “We all know Drake and Travis are always a hit for this part of the world and are confident that it will be even bigger than their earlier shows since people are hungry for entertainment after a long gap of almost a full year because of a pandemic. We would be happy to see you being part of “RHYTHM” and hope this will be the beginning of a long-term mutually beneficial collaboration. I have enclosed our proposed Agreement of Co-Operation for your review and execution. It gives us the impression that Mr Hossama has very close ties with Mr Pervaiz Akhtar as he is very adamant to make you all part of this sensational event – even though our management’s initial intent was of taking it solo. But now that he has convinced them, I would like to welcome you and hope this will be an entertaining & enjoyable event for us all.”
Akhtar wrote to Hossama and Naeem on September 3, 2021, reminding them of their promise to return the money by July.
On September 5, 2021, Naeem replied that “because of budgetary shortfall”, the Drake & Travis Live Event could not be closed on the given window and the “deposits paid were forfeited”. He wrote that the event fell apart because the investor paid $250,000 but didn’t pay the remaining $50,000 on time “to the point that we lost the whole contract for Drake & Travis Live Event”. He claimed that QSM World had lost the full deposit amount of $3 million to Drake and Travis Scott. “All vendors forfeited the amount paid to them as booking commitment fees and so was the case with the production team.”
QSM World’s Vice President further claimed that he believed that there was a potential to recover the loss of $3 million as well as other costs therefore QSM World was once again negotiating with Drake and Travis Scott for a concert before the end of 2021 “for which work is in progress”. This event never happened as claimed.
On April 13, Naeem Khan wrote to Pervez Akhtar: “We are happy to see you being part as partners of this exciting Drake and Travis Live Event and hope this is just the start of our mutually beneficial long-term business association. I have been instructed by the management to assure you that everything Mr Hossama has committed to you shall be honoured by us at every stage of this understanding/partnership.”
The agreement between Quantum Sports & Media WLL (Promoter) and Ranee Productions Limited (Investor) was signed on April 5, 2021. It said: “That Investor agrees to invest total sum of USD 500,000 (USD Five Hundred Thousand only) of which USD 300,000 (USD Three Hundred Thousand only) shall be transferred to promoter’s bank account in Qatar at the signing of this contract and the remaining amount of USD 200,0000 (USD Two Hundred Thousand only) shall be transferred to the promoter’s bank account in Qatar within 1 day of the announcement of the concert; that investor in return will receive from promoter against said investment a sum of USD 500,000 (USD Five Hundred Thousand only) plus 10% and/or of the total investment made by the investor, in addition to 10% (Ten Percent only) of the net profit earned from the said concert, within 45 (forty-five) days of the concert date.”
Hossama Dawood Khan initially responded to questions by email, phone and WhatsApp but stopped answering emails and phone calls when told that Drake and Scott’s management have said they have no idea about QSM World and denied signing any “Rhythm” concert.
Pervez Akhtar said he has started a legal process in the hope of getting justice.