Whistleblower Credits: We would like to thank our whistleblowers for their reports and insights, which help us expose scammers and their payment processors. Together we can make a difference in cyberspace. Together we are an invincible force.
First of all, we would like to thank a whistleblower who sent us a comprehensive dossier on The NAGA Group AG and AvaTrade. This dossier contains a lot of information about the shareholders and background of the listed German company The NAGA Group, which operates its brokerage business in the EU through its subsidiary Naga Markets Europe Ltd with CySEC license No 204/13. Behind the NAGA Group is the Chinese Fosun of billionaire Guo Guanchang. The CySEC-regulated Naga Markets Europe Ltd operated as Hanseatic Brokerhouse Global Markets Ltd a/k/a Ava Trade Ltd until mid-2017. An interesting connection we would like to know more about.
AvaTrade a/k/a AvaFX a/k/a ATrade was founded in 2006 by Canadian-Israeli citizen Emanuel Kronitz (LinkedIn and pictured left). It is actually an Israeli venture. AvaTrade was operated by the Israeli entity Ava Financial Ltd in the early years and was later replaced by Ava Trade Ltd in BVI and Ava Trade Ltd in Cyprus. Up until today, Yehoshua Abramovich (LinkedIn) is the president of the broker.
The AvaTrade Group is a forex and CFD broker addressing consumers on all continents under its brand AvaTrade (www.avatrade.com). The group also operated the brands DIH Direct Investment Hub (http://www.dtdirectinvestmenthub.com) and DupliTrade (http://www.duplitrade.com) via D.T. Direct Investment Hub Ltd, a Cyprus investment firm regulated by CySEC with license number 347/17. According to its website, the AvaTrade Group holds the following licenses:
- AVA Trade EU Ltd is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland (CBI) with No. C53877;
- Ava Trade Ltd is regulated by the B.V.I Financial Services Commission (FSC) with No. SIBA/L/1049;
- Ava Capital Markets Australia Pty Ltd is regulated by the ASIC with No. 406684;
- Ava Capital Markets Pty is regulated by the South African Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) with No. 45984.
- Ava Trade Japan K.K. is licensed by the Financial Services Agency (FSA) with No.: 1662, and Financial Futures Association of Japan with the No. 1574;
- Ava Trade Middle East Ltd is regulated by the Abu Dhabi Global Markets (ADGM) and Financial Regulatory Services Authority (FRSA) with No. 190018;
- DT Direct Investment Hub Ltd. is regulated by the CySEC with No. 347/17 and the approved domains www.dtdirectinvestmenthub.com and www.duplitrade.com;
- ATrade Ltd is regulated in Israel by the Israel Securities Authority (ISA) with No. 51466577.
According to the information on the historic websites, the AvaTrade broker with the domain and website http://www.avatrade.com was co-operated by the CySEC-regulated Ava Trade Ltd and the CBI-regulated AVA Trade EU Ltd until August 2017(source: Web Archive). At that time, NAGA Group had already been the sole owner of this company for 18 months. Ava Trade Ltd was removed from the website around mid-August 2017, and the Irish Ava Trade EU Ltd was listed as the only operator. Both entities were established in 2009.
There is also Ava Trade UK Ltd founded by BVI-registered Ava Trade Ltd in May 2018. AvaTrade founder Emanuel Kronitz is listed as its beneficial owner (UK Companies House). The company shares offices with the Irish company in the Five Lamps Building on Amiens Street in Dublin.
The Naga Group
The founders of the German FinTech The NAGA Group AG in Hamburg, Germany, are Yasin Sebastian Qureshi (LinkedIn) and Benjamin “Ben” Bilski (LinkedIn). They founded the company in 2015 via a dormant company. Shortly thereafter, a notable transaction took place. According to its June 2017 IPO prospectus, Naga Group acquired CySEC-regulated Ava Trade Ltd – at the time already renamed Hanseatic Brokerhouse Global Markets Ltd – in February 2016 from its co-founder Yasin Sebastian Qureshi. Specifically, the company acquired Zack Beteiligungs GmbH from Qureshi, which held all shares in Ava Trade Ltd.
Zack Beteilungs GmbH was merged with Naga Technology GmbH in August 2019 (see company register data).
In July 2017, the IPO of The NAGA Group took place in the Scale segment of the German Stock Exchange in Frankfurt with the Chinese Fosun as one of its strategic investors. The IPO was followed in November 2017 by an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) in which 50 million NAGA Coins were sold at a price of €1. The group announced in a press release that it had raised €50 million from 63,000 investors. Impressive, it is not. IPO and ICO within 6 months.
However, the NAGA coin didn’t fare too well and was quite a disappointment for investors. Today, the coin is worth less than 3 cents.
Ava Trade Ltd has had many names since its inception in 2009; it started with AVFX Trading Ltd, was renamed Ava Trade Ltd, became AF Alaska Financial Ltd, then Hanseatic Brokerhouse Global Markets Ltd, and Naga Markets Ltd at the time of the NAGA Coins ICO in November 2017, and sometime after that, it became Naga Markets Europe Ltd.
From the company’s prospectus, the web archive, whistleblower information, and other publicly available information, we know that
- NAGA Group co-founder Yasin Sebastian Qureshi was the beneficial owner of Ava Trade Ltd a/k/a Hanseatic Brokerhouse Global Markets Ltd in Cyprus through his Zack Beteiligungs GmbH in February 2016.
- Between July to December 31, 2016, Naga Group received commissions for introducing broker (IB) activities from Hanseatic Brokerhouse Global Markets Ltd Cyprus a/k/a Ava Trading in the amount of €691,000. Nice, isn’t it?
- The NAGA Coin is a strange asset in an even stranger set-up, resulting in possible headaches for the auditors.
A commission in the amount of €691k is not bad and it was pretty much the only significant revenue stream at the time of the IPO. The question is whether this also comes from the connection to the AvaTrade broker and what is the relationship between Qureshi and Emanuel Kronitz and his group of companies. If any at all.
Yasin Qureshi is also the founder of Aqua Digital Rising Ltd (www.aquarising.com), an alternative asset investment and analytics platform (LinkedIn). He runs the company together with Andreas Ruether, Debasish “Dev” Dutta and other friends (UK Companies House).
We would like to know more and request our whistleblowers to share their information with us.