Fraud of the Year: Minting Money by Acquiring Land for Towers

Today we saw the heights of deceptive activities going on in our society, when an individual named Aftab Ahmed, so called director projects of a new cellular company, published an advert in Daily Express, Lahore – asking the general public to offer their commercial and non-commercial lands for tower installation.


This guy, when called, claims that a new cellular company is starting its services in Pakistan and needs space for tower installations in cities including: Lahore, Okara, Depalpur, Burewala and Sahiwal.

When the trapped callers show their interest for offering his free land, the guy asks for the advance payment (or call it commission) that is necessary to get the process going.

Following is the advert published in Express Lahore:


General public may not be aware of this new cellular company entering in Pakistan, however, Daily Express, a media company that would be well aware of the fact that no cellular company is starting new operations, demonstrated its utter mental state by not judging the intents of this advert and published it.

Pakistan Telecommunication Authority must probe the instance, and should check with PEMRA on why Express published such an AD.

PTA should also initiate legal proceedings against Mr. Aftab Ahmed, who is clearly deceiving people to make illegal money. They may use the advertised number to reach this person or otherwise information saved with publication for booking of advert can help.


Pitiful to note here is the fact that it is largely known to general public that commissions for land acquisition is usual routine for even legitimate tower installations. Cellular companies must tighten its policies for its land acquisition guys to avoid any chance for commissions. A helpline number to report violations can be handy.

Tech and telecom reporter with over 15 years of experience, he works as founder of ProPakistani.PK


  • Aoa, you’re right exprex is equally responsible for this scamme. They must have checked the validity of clames maid in the advertisement before publishing it. Now matter must be probed and proper steps must be taken to ensure that no such thing happens in the future and most people who always look for shortcuts to make money are not betraied.

  • Again, one very laughable story. It is not the responsibility of the newspaper to check ads. They have responsibility to check the content of the news. Ads are streamed in through media agencies.

    Furthermore, I have seen that this is the second time that a very useless and baseless story is being printed about the Express Newspaper.

    • Editor is not responsible for the news stories only but also the adverts published in the paper.

      I agree to an extent that its not possible for publication to check the ads published about products – but this advert is more about the ignorance of not knowing the fact that there is no new cellular company coming into this country.

      • Respected Admin,
        I think rather than speaking against the news agency, you should divert your focus on the guy who had published the irrational advertisement in the newspaper. As it is an international practice that a generic newspaper is not responsible of the content validation. It is always the SOLE responsibilty of the advertiser.
        Even in the case of DAWN, it doesn’t take the responsibilty of content authenticity—see the point No. 8 of the page

      • I have worked for a newspaper and I am still in that circle. The ads are placed to cover up space reserved for advertisements. The editor has a lot more on hands.

        There have been several cases where there were realty based ads were placed in the newspaper. IF the realty ad is fake, the building authority of that city puts up an ad and warns the public next day.

        Contacting directly a newspaper to publish an ad is not a smart move. The newspaper (in this case Express Lahore) has assigned advertising agencies. This ad must have been done by an advertising agency. PTA indeed has a role to play in this if there is not a new “mobile” company launching, this ad should be condemned. A legal inquiry against the paper and the advertiser including the client should be launched.

  • This is the Sole Responsibility of the Advertiser itself. The Print Media in this case (Express), is not liable for the verification of each and every Ad. Though they have basic responsibilities, but i never heard of “Fraud Prevention or Security Risk Unit” kind of department in an Advertising Agency/Newspaper.

    So the guy whose Contact details are clearly printed should be prosecuted.

    BTW Admin here seems more biased against the News Agency than the Advertiser itself (whose is guilty).

  • Yaar “Aamir Atta” bhai, Ajeeb hi baat ha yaar, ab Print media pr fruad ad chalain gey, btw, you have a nice Catch, I really appricate it.


  • Just a small correction here. PEMRA has nothing to do with Express newspaper because PEMRA regulates only electronic media.

    • Agree… all Pakistan newspapers is responsible.. but we see many scam ads in papers even newspaper agent know about them but they do nothing.

  • I once tried to publish an ad which is about hiring people in country other than Pakistan. This ad was requested by one of my close friend who wish to hire only Pakistanis. The newspaper “Daily DAWN” asked me to produce letter head of the firm, profile of the firm, authority letter, my CNIC and other details. Since my friend didn’t provided me his letter head, profile and authority letter, the newspaper refused publication. At first it was quite embarressing but later on I realized that it is the duty of newspaper to probe. Here the daily Express is not taking. Care of peoples interest but is hungry for money. I hope they have taken enough document that can prove that new company is about to launch its operations in Pakistan and will start from small cities!!!!!

    • Is owner of this website still sleeping?
      Why doesn’t he correct himself b4 pointing others?

  • If someone is reading me. My opinion is here.

    PTA should get that guy & Express News should Announce 2 time bigger if anybody got scam by that guy kindly contact.

    Then return that poor peoples money back to them.

    My Comment is little funny but i think this should be happend.

    As if i have news paper agency. I will try my best to verify every ad. But if i demand NTN Number for every ad. My sales will down. So we can’t Blame Express.


    Really Nice catch.

  • I agree the newspaper should be guilty, it is the responsibility of the newspaper to check every ad before publishing otherwise they will loose their credibility

  • i recieved that sms from a friend of mine..i even sent copies of electricity and gas bills of my many properties as they demanded..PTA or FIA whoever responsible should take action immediately..

  • I Totally Fail to understand why Newspaper is being questioned… and i totally fail to understand why the newspaper should be aware that there is no new telecoms company. How come a ad booking clerk can be aware of such potential fraud attempts.

    According to this article and most of comments… every news paper should check each and every ad for a possible fraud before publishing… That is totally Impractical idea…
    It means they should run a back ground check on each and every Zarorat-e-Rishta Ad also, because peoples lives are being destroyed in such fraud.

    Blaming other for our nonsense is always been our attitude. we must stop this and investigate on our part before blindly trusting such “easy money making opportunities”

  • I also received call from 03454781347 named Mian Hafeez asking me land for mobile tower, he told me that wateen will give you 15lac advance in normal case but if we request for more then company director will review our application and will increased advance if we deserve, he said that you will give me the 50% of that amount (above 15lac).
    Today he will cal gain in evening after discussing my case with company head.

  • I have a 5 marla plot in Ali pur nai Abadi near tramari chowk Islamabad. There is a big problem of mobile signals in this region and I want any company to place tower to enhance their coverage. Kindly contact me 03224968964

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