Cops called on Computer Street

Pandemonium descended on Dubai’s Computer Street yesterday as the trickle of resellers suffering severe financial problems threatens to turn into a flood. Juma Bin Salmin Trading was forced to call the police to its premises after a crowd of irate creditors gathered outside.

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By  Alex Malouf Published  September 1, 2004

Pandemonium descended on Dubai’s Computer Street yesterday as the trickle of resellers suffering severe financial problems threatens to turn into a flood. Juma Bin Salmin Trading was forced to call the police to its premises after a crowd of irate creditors gathered demanding repayment of credit or the return of kit. Juma Bin Salmin has been the subject of intense speculation since two other resellers in the Street, Jubeil and Two Star, shut up shop last week leaving behind a string of unpaid debts according to resellers and distributors. Insiders on the street suggest that a common ownership and management link exists between all three companies. Sunil Dandawate, managing director at Kobian Distribution, explained: “The owners of Jubeil and Two Star were partners of Mohammad Faizar, manager at Juma Bin Salmin. They had the same sponsor and two of the three partners had been colleagues for a long time.” Allegations quickly surfaced that Juma Bin Salmin’s overdraft had been frozen by its bank due to the debts left by Jubeil, which had an account at the same branch under the sponsorship of the same individual. Resellers descended on Juma Bin Salmin’s premises en masse to try and collect cash or reclaim stock. Amidst hectic scenes, Juma Bin Salmin’s staff called the police in the early afternoon to restore order and shut up shop. The retail outlet reopened in the evening and quickly became packed with resellers grabbing stock to recover their losses. “We had sold them Dhs100,000 (US$27,000) worth of goods and we got nearly all of that back,” said a gleeful M Irfan, export manager with Carapelli Computers. “But the market is more insecure for those higher up and distributors were the hardest hit. Juma Bin Salmin should survive as they have good support from distributors.” “Such happenings are due to distributors and vendors pushing for volume sales,” argued Tarun Nandi, owner and manager of Computer Street retailer Blue Bell Computers. “With the constant demand for sales, is it surprising that people sell below cost to meet numbers? They have to look at their own behaviour and ask why people build up such debts.” Mohammad Kathir, manager at Juma Bin Salmin, has claimed that today would be business as usual for the company but it remains to be seen whether the reseller can survive this ordeal. Creditors were collecting any stock they could grab last night, emptying the shelves of motherboards and processors.

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