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Tk 2.3bn laundered thru streaming apps in a year

  • Mahabub Alam
  • 16th September, 2021 10:25:23 PM
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Tk 2.3bn laundered thru streaming apps in a year

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Some Tk 2.3 billion was siphoned off through different online platforms including StreamKar, Bigo Live and Likee in the last one year, according to sources in law enforcement agencies. 

Money is being laundered through gambling, live chatting and other immoral acts through these apps.

Sources said the law enforcement agencies have obtained evidence that more than Tk 2.3 billion was laundered through StreamKar, Bigo Live and Likee apps in the last one year.

The law enforcement agencies arrested a number of the agents of the apps but could do nothing against the foreign admins, who are running those apps from their respective countries.

Ramna Detective Branch Division arrested three gamblers— Delwar Hossain, Mohiuddin and Jamal Mia—from the capital’s Demra area early on Tuesday.

HM Azimul Haque, deputy commissioner (DC) of the division under Dhaka Metropolitan Police, said that they gambled through SkyFair and Bet365 apps.

“Many gamblers are playing gambling online through these apps and contributing to laundering of millions of taka,” he said. 

The gamblers pay money to the agents of the apps through mobile banking services.

“The agents convert the money into dollars after keeping their commission. The dollars go to the hand of admins abroad. This is how money is being laundered,” he said.

The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) is carrying out an investigation into some cases filed against a number of agents of the apps— StreamKar, Bigo Live, Likee and StarMaker.

SM Ashraful Alam, special superintendent of police of the Cyber Police Centre under the CID, told the Daily Sun that they were investigating the cases filed against some agents of the StreamKar.

“During the investigation, we have found nexus of many people with the app. We are doing a thorough investigation into this,” he said.

 “We are facing difficulties in tracing the criminals as they used fake names and addresses on the app,” he said.

 “If we stop any app, the admins open another and resume the same practice.”

Md. Mahiduzzaman, superintendent of police (cybercrime) of Anti-Terrorism Unit of police, told the Daily Sun that huge money was being laundered by live chatting through the app.

“The agents of the app are getting several hundred IDs run by the more than 1,000 young women.  The women are doing live chats with people interested. They need virtual coins for chats. They buy coins from the agents who buy these from the admins,” he said. 

Md. Azad Rahman, additional superintendent of police at the CID, said that the agents of Starmaker were attracting people to online gambling through it. “The gamblers need virtual coins, including bitcoin, for gambling through the app. The agents buy the coins from the admins and they sell these to the gamblers,” he said.

The officer said that they gathered information on an agency that sold virtual coins worth over Tk 848 million in a month.