Monday, 18 October, 2021

Endless financial fraud

Bangladesh has become a fertile ground for business fraud mainly because of lack of awareness and greed among the common people, while slack governmental monitoring paves the way for fraudsters to decamp with crores of taka even before the entire saga is coming to light. The government had banned multilevel marketing (MLM) business almost a decade ago following widespread financial frauds by companies like Destiny, Unipay, Jubok et al, but still fraudulent business activities didn’t stop; rather the fraudsters remodelled their scams and set new cobweb of deception in the name of e-commerce and giving hefty offers or cash back etc.

A number of companies including Evaly and E-orange have swindled their customers of crores of taka by capitalizing on their marketing stunt and naivety of the people. And it is astonishing that thousands of people made advance payment for their products in these so-called sites without having a lurking suspicion that they might be tricked!

Some companies and individuals also raked in huge amount of money in the name of cooperative or giving jobs at home and abroad or selling imaginary posts in non-existent political parties. One company named Ehsan Group even used Islamic preachers to motivate people to invest in it. Eventually the top brasses of the company allegedly embezzled Tk. 17,000 crore in the name of giving an opportunity to do interest-free business.

Thus the saga of conning people and leaving them wretched condition goes on and on. However, we understand that any business venture may fail and those who invested in it may incur financial loss. But the question is whether the business idea was well-intentioned. Here comes the role of authorities concerned and the need for more thorough monitoring. 

It was revealed after the arrest of Evaly Chairman and CEO that they owed their customers over Tk 1000 crore and their eventual plan was to declare bankruptcy. So, the question is how did the companies evade the eyes of authorities concerned before robbing so-many people of their hard-earned savings? It is clear in plain eyes that these companies were flouting existing business rules, but why they weren’t stopped on their track? It is not this newspaper’s concern to target any individual or business group; we target systems which we think need to be strengthened.