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Karachi-based startup accused of stealing source code; founder arresed

Investor’s Lounge, a Karachi based social media startup for investors and a graduate of PASHA’s Nest i/o incubation center, is accused of stealing source code from AMZ MAK Capital Limited.

In a statement issued by AMZ MAK’s Social Media Executive, Sehar Alam, the company alleges that the founders of Investor’s Lounger were their employees and they stole the source code during the employment period.

She said, “Baqar Abbas Jafri, Sennen D’Souza and Hammad Ali Hashmi along with Waqar Ehsan, all ex-employees of AMZ MAK Capital Ltd are to be arrested on the directives issued by the Sindh police. The police issued the notice after, at the Karachi City Court, the judge issued the result in favor of AMZ MAK capital.

We were able to prove in the Karachi City court that the cofounders of Investors Lounge were employees of our organization and they worked with AMZ Capital under pay roll for a year. During that time, they utilized the source code of the product they were working on under AMZ Capital and planned to launch their own product using that source code.

Initially, the startup founders didn’t agree that they were working with AMZ Capital but later they made the confession in the court. Currently, Baqar Abbas is in the custody of police, whereas, the police are in search of rest of the team-mates.

One of the co-founders Baqar Abbas Jafri was arrested on Monday afternoon and currently is in custody on Sindh Police.

Mir Muhammad Ali Khan, a well-known personality on the social media and one of the founders of AMZ MAK, while talking to ProPakistani said that Baqar Jafri was hired to develop an investor’s social media platform for which he stole the complete source code worth $140,000. According to Mr. Khan, the same source code with minor modifications was used to launch Investor’s Lounge.

A press release was issued by Investor’s Lounge which categorically denies all the allegations:

“Mr. Baqar is a bright young gentleman who, along with his able team of software engineers and developers, created new and original software code for Investors Lounge with the assistance of shared content recently purchased from recognized vendors with the specific intention of using such shared content for Investors Lounge only.  It is categorically denied that any intellectual property or software code used in Investors Lounge has been illegally obtained or infringes the copyright of any third party. 

Furthermore, the management of the startup, which has taken these allegations and the manner of their application seriously and sought expert legal advice to investigate the matter and establish the facts.” 

Since the recent developments, Mr. Khan has taken upon his Facebook to post a message in which he clarifies that he will not use his social influence to direct this issue but he plans to set “a precedence in Pakistan so no other tech entrepreneur is ever cheated again.” It is to be noted here that Mr. Khan’s past is also tainted with many allegations and an New York Times article from year 2000 alleges that he is wanted in USA in many cases related to tax and financial irregularities.

Jehan Ara, President of PASHA, leader of Nest i/o and a highly respected individual in the tech industry of Pakistan said, “This is a false accusation.” She further added,I know these youngsters personally and the product was created from scratch at The Nest i/o. It is heartbreaking and totally unjust that these young entrepreneurs who have struggled so much and worked so hard to get to this stage should be put through this. I stand by them.”

Legal team of Investor’s Lounge will be issuing an official statement tomorrow covering all the allegations and their responses.


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