Well-known ‘Committee Wali Baji’ seeks protection from court

Committee members had known Sidra for at least 7 to 10 years, fell for her Rs420m scheme
<p>Artwork: Yawar Yaseen/SAMAA Digital</p>

Artwork: Yawar Yaseen/SAMAA Digital

A Karachi woman - who got famous for running savings committees (commonly known as ballot committees or BCs) before being accused of pilfering the sum to enrich her self, has now sought protection from court after being hounded by her creditors.

The social media businesswoman and entrepreneur Sidra Humaid of Karachi had recently posted online that she had defaulted on paying out committees to the tune of Rs420 million.

Humaid, who operates two businesses: Daily Bites, a home-based food company, and Croise, a handmade goods brand, said that she was being hounded by ‘thugs’ demanding money and was receiving ‘threats’.

According to the specifics of the petition submitted by Sidra Humaid, during the time of Covid-19, the majority of members were unable to pay their dues, and in result she was unable to pay the committee forward.

She also stated that she was compelled to submit a petition after receiving death threats and having her home attacked on December 3 by armed men.

In addition, the businesswoman has stated that she is prepared to compensate every member of the committee.

On Tuesday, she posted on Facebook a copy of a court notice to the District East SSP to provide her with protection and to submit a report to the court next week after she had approached the sessions court.

Earlier, Humaid had posted on her social media account stating that while she owed a lot of money to a lot of people, she did not have sufficient money to refund everyone or pay what is owed to them.

“I have really messed up my committees, and now I am practically bankrupt and have no means to pay off my committees,” she wrote. The post was a shock to several of her followers and creditors.

Here’s Sidra’s social media announcement:

Humaid’s victims have been vocal on social media, calling her out for swindling them. Several had voiced their desire to pursue her legally to retrieve their money.

None of them, however, have reported the incident to the police or the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA).

While Humaid has not been seen or heard from recently, she posted on social media, urging calm amongst her committee members,

“Please guys don’t panic. Your money will be returned in the coming months.”

One of her victims told other committee members that she had known Humaid for the past seven to 10 years.

Other victims claimed that in recent months, Humaid could be found flaunting new found wealth on social media, showing off her fancy cellphones, watches, handbags, and footwear.

Her victims argued that someone operating a couple of home-based businesses and that the money probably went to fund her lavish lifestyle.

In the most recent turn of events, the influencer posted an update on its social media profile stating that after putting her financial situation in order, she has begun paying everyone to whom she was legally obligated to pay according to the terms of their agreement.

She had started hosting committees around seven years ago with some five committees.

Those who placed their money with her said that she used to operate all the committees using WhatsApp groups and two accounts in private banks.

Over time, her network of committees grew to a whopping 117 committees.



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