‘Cheating’ Thru’ MLM
Finance passes the buck
Central bank says it only can probe, but govt can take action; JS body wants law
Bangladesh Bank is surprised by Finance Minister AMA Muhith’s remark that the government would take action against Destiny-2000 Ltd only if the commerce ministry and the BB want.
“The ball is now in the government’s court, not in ours,” said a top official of the central bank hours after Finance Minister AMA Muhith’s comment yesterday.
“We’ve carried out the investigation for the finance ministry. Now the government has to take a stand,” he told The Daily Star.
“The law has to be changed if Bangladesh Bank is to intervene.”
Destiny-2000 is not a banking company; it is registered with the Department of Cooperatives, he said, explaining why BB cannot act on its own on the issue.
“We can freeze Destiny’s bank accounts only when the government directs us to do so,” added the official, requesting anonymity.
Over the last few days, various newspapers published reports on the irregularities of Destiny, a multi level company, revealed by the central bank.
The BB investigation found proof of illegal banking by Destiny Multipurpose Co-operative Society Ltd, one of Destiny-2000’s concerns. Such illegal banking is creating chaos on the country’s financial sector, the probe report said.
Asked whether the government was reluctant to take action against the firm due to the involvement of some “influential persons” with the company, Muhith said, “I know a General is there.”
It may be mentioned that former army chief Harun-ur-Rashid is a director of Destiny Group. Rashid is also a member of the Sector Commanders Forum, which champions the demand for war crimes trial.
The central bank also shocked by the delay in formulating a law to regulate MLM companies like Destiny.
A year ago, another MLM company Unipay2 came to the limelight for cheating people. At the time, the government moved to make laws or policies to police these companies, but the initiative has yet to see any result.
In October last year, the commerce ministry drafted a law on direct sale. But it is yet to be placed in the cabinet for approval.
Meanwhile, the parliamentary standing committee on the commerce ministry has asked the ministry to expedite the task of formulating a law to oversee the activities of MLM businesses and prevent “fraudulence” by such companies.
“The committee will write the top government authorities, including the finance minister, to take immediate measures to stop illegal activities of different MLM companies including Destiny-2000 Ltd,” ABM Abul Qasem, chief of the parliamentary watchdog, told reporters at the Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban yesterday.
Commerce Minister GM Quader could not be reached over the phone for comments despite repeated attempts.
-With The Daily Star input