Thursday, February 29, 2024

Marketers of greed reign supreme

Star finds many multilevel companies not making headlines, silently swindling fortune-seekers before vanishing abruptly
Shady multilevel marketing (MLM) companies are cheating people across the country by offering them double return on deposits in less than a year, high monthly returns and huge profits from product sales.
These companies rent top-class office rooms and create eye-catching websites to lure people into their traps, and then vanish after swindling people out of crores of taka.
Weeks after Destiny-2000 and Unipay2u became the focus of public attention for their alleged financial fraud, there have been allegations that MLM companies FALGUNI INT and Revnexx tricked people out of several hundred crores of taka in just a year. Both companies vanished within a year of their operation.
Imran Hossain last year deposited Tk 20 lakh in several instalments with FALGUNI INT (Falguni Trade International), which had promised to give him double returns on his deposit in just 10 months. But he found the company’s office shut before his deposit could mature.
Like Imran, Farhad Hossain, Reshma Akhter and Shariful Alam were deceived by the same MLM Company.
Abdullah Masud, the founder and managing director of FALGUNI INT, adopted a new strategy to cheat people. He formed a food and beverage company and also set up a factory. He sold financial packages with promises of a double return on investments in 10 months.
He also sold his food company’s dealerships for Tk 4-5 lakh each and pocketed nearly Tk 10 crore from around 200 people.
Masud rented an 8,000 square-foot office at DH Tower at Panthapath and created a website branding FALGUNI INT as a leading industrial conglomerate in Bangladesh.
Posted on the website was the message that FALGUNI INT had assumed a leadership role in food and beverages, cosmetics and toiletries, infrastructure development, power, high-tech agro products, automobiles and IT sectors.
“He [Masud] has cheated a lot of people. Most projects mentioned on the website are false and meant to deceive people,” said Atiqur Rahman, who was director (production) of Falguni Food and Beverage.
He along with the company’s deputy managing director resigned when they came to know that Masud had been cheating people.
The workers of the factory did not even get their salaries, said Atiq.
When The Daily Star managed to contact Masud over the phone after several days’ attempt, Masud said he had shut the office as there was no government policy on MLM business. The developments relating to Destiny had also led him to make the decision.
He admitted that 20,000 people were made members of FALGUNI INT and he had sold a financial package of Tk 21,000 to each member.
“I did not take money from all members. My rivals are saying this.” Masud claimed that he had paid back many of the members.
Interestingly, Masud claimed that he had been cheated by another MLM company, Revnexx, last year. He had invested more than Tk 50 lakh in that company that vanished in less than one year of operation, he said.
In a tone of regret, Masud said, “MLM is here only to cheat people. Influential people are often hired to show off the business to people.”
“It is not possible to give a double return on a deposit within the time frame mentioned by MLM companies,” he said.
Revnexx took a more aggressive approach than other MLM companies. It held out the assurance that if anyone made an investment in the company, the amount would double in just six months.
Thousands of poor and low-income people fell in the trap of Revnexx, which had rented an office at Banani in the capital.
Harisa Parveen, a kindergarten teacher in Joydevpur, said, “I deposited Tk 73,000, most of which I had borrowed, in October last year with the MLM company that promised me a double return on deposits in six months. I received only one instalment of Tk 21,000 from the company.”
She found the Revnexx office closed after a few months.
Like her, Rowshan Ara, Abdul Halim Khan, Taslima Begum, Shafiqul Islam Khan, Ziaur Rahman, and Lutfar Rahman lost money to the MLM company that existed for less than a year.
The main culprits — Pintu Biswas and Rony of Revnexx — have been on the run after swindling people out of Tk 150-200 crore, according to aggrieved investors.
Global Guardian Network (GGN) introduced MLM business in Bangladesh in 1998. Later, some GGN high-ups, including Rafiqul Amin, left the organisation and formed Destiny in 2000. Destiny’s exponential growth encouraged many vested quarters to get involved in MLM business.
According to the office of Registrar of Joint Stock Companies and Firms, 70 MLM companies have been registered with it, but no new companies were given permission to run MLM business in the last one year.
Wishing anonymity, a high-up of the office said the absence of law and policies gave vested quarters the opportunity to cheat people in the name of MLM business.

-With The Daily Star input

Related News

bKash communications chief Mahfuz Sadique dies at 40

News Desk : dhakamirror.com Mahfuz Sadique, chief communications officer of mobile financial services firm bKash, passed away in Bangladesh capital Dhaka Friday morning. He was 40. Mahfuz died around 9:00am while undergoing treatment at a hospital in the capital, bKash said in a statement. Mahfuz, who began his career as a journalist at New Age, ... Read more

Prices for potatoes increase by 229% from the previous year

Prices for potatoes varied from Tk16 to Tk22 per kg at this time last year. News Desk : dhakamirror.com Despite the presence of both new and old potatoes in the market, potato prices have soared by 229% compared to late December last year. According to the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB), the selling price for ... Read more

LGED engineer dead, UNO among 3 injured in Panchagarh car crash

News Desk : dhakamirror.com An engineer of the Local Government Engineering Department (LGED) was killed and three other government officials were injured when the vehicle of a UNO hit a roadside tree in Panchagarh Sadar upazila early today. The deceased was identified as Abu Sayed, 33, upazila engineer of LGED from Pirganj upazila of Thakurgaon. ... Read more

UNHCR calls for rescue of Rohingyas stranded in Andaman Sea

News Desk : dhakamirror.com The United Nations (UN) Refugee Agency, UNHCR, has made an urgent appeal to all countries in the region, particularly those in the area surrounding the Andaman Sea, to swiftly deploy their full search and rescue capacities in response to reported vessels in distress with hundreds of Rohingya at risk of perishing. ... Read more

Over 200 RMG workers injured in Comilla while evacuating factory during earthquake

News Desk : dhakamirror.com Over two hundred garment workers in Cumilla’s Chauddagram have been injured while trying to evacuate the factory building of Amir Shirt Garment Limited during today’s earthquake. A 5.5 magnitude earthquake at a depth of 10km jolted Dhaka, and parts of the country at 9:35am today (2 December). The epicentre of the ... Read more

Daughter hacked father to death in Chattogram

News Desk : dhakamirror.com A father was hacked to death by his own daughter during an altercation over a trivial matter at Lohagara upazila in Chattogram on Friday (1 December). The deceased was identified as Abdur Rahman, 50, of Putibila Sarai village under the upazila. Police have detained the daughter, Humaira Begum, 23, soon after ... Read more

HSC results: Dhaka has most GPA-5 achievers, while Barishal has highest pass rate

News Desk : dhakamirror.com Dhaka had the highest number of GPA-5 recipients in the HSC exams, while Barishal Education Board had the highest pass rate among nine educational boards. Education Minister Dipu Moni announced today that the overall pass rate in the nine general boards is 75.90 percent. In terms of pass rates, Barishal ranked ... Read more

PSC postpones 45th BCS written tests

News Desk : dhakamirror.com The Bangladesh Public Service Commission (PSC) has decided to postpone the written tests for the 45th Bangladesh Civil Service examination, which was scheduled to be held on 27 November. The announcement came through a notification signed by Ananda Kumar Biswas, the exam controller of PSC, issued on Friday. PSC held a ... Read more

After stabbing younger sister to death woman ‘kills herself’ in Hazaribagh

News Desk : dhakamirror.com A woman reportedly killed herself after stabbing her younger sister to death in the capital’s Hazaribagh area today. Police said the incident took place in the Kalunagar area at around 12am on Monday (13 November). The deceased have been identified as Jasmine Akhtar, 44, and her younger sister Nasreen Akhtar, 30. ... Read more

Oman stops issuing new visas to citizens of Bangladesh

News Desk : dhakamirror.com The Sultanate of Oman has suspended the issuance of visas across all categories for Bangladeshi nationals, the Royal Oman Police (ROP) said on Tuesday. The decision was effective from Tuesday, reported Oman-based English newspaper the Times of Oman referring to the Royal Oman Police. The report said that the ROP confirmed ... Read more

Dhaka girl Nupur takes over as chairman of Unilever for a day

News Desk : dhakamirror.com Seventeen-year-old Nupur from Dhaka, had the opportunity to take over Unilever’s chairman position for one day on Thursday. There, she symbolically carried out the roles and responsibilities of Zaved Akhtar, the chairman and managing director of Unilever Bangladesh, said a press release. Nupur being an active youth club member, works for ... Read more

Hospitals must follow guidelines, orders HC

News Desk : dhakamirror.com The High Court on Thursday asked the government to take steps to make it compulsory to follow the relevant guidelines for the prevention of performing unnecessary caesarean section surgery at government and private hospitals and clinics. The court has also directed the government to widely circulate the guidelines within six months. ... Read more

Woman delivers birth to five babies at DMCH

News Desk : dhakamirror.com A woman has given birth to five premature babies. The quintuplets were born at the Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) at 10am on Thursday to Mansura Begum, 22, the wife of CNG driver Md Mamun from Bandardia village in Shibpur upazila of Narsingdi district. One of the newborns, however, died shortly ... Read more

Tk8.44 cr fine imposed to Kazi Farms, 3.44 crore to Suguna Food

News Desk : dhakamirror.com The Bangladesh Competition Commission has fined Kazi Farms Group and Saguna Food and Feeds on charges of market manipulation causing abnormal rise in broiler chicken prices. BCC officials said that the companies must deposit the fine amount to the BCC within 10 working days. If they fail to deposit the fine ... Read more

Heritage volunteers visit national museum

News Desk : dhakamirror.com The heritage volunteers participating in UNESCO World Heritage Volunteers Programme 2023 visited national museum in Dhaka on Sunday. The ten-day workshop programme organised by Nagar Upakhyan-Perceive started on October 1, said a press release. The Heritage volunteers’ team visited national museum which is on the UNESCO World Heritage tentative list on ... Read more

Fare for Bangladesh-India trains to increase from November 10

News Desk : dhakamirror.com Ticket prices of three inter-country trains on Bangladesh-India routes are going to be hiked from November 10. The fares are going to increase due to high exchange rate of US dollar and rising travel tax, according to the Bangladesh Railway officials. The trains are – Maitree Express on Dhaka-Kolkata, Bandhan Express ... Read more

Man, nephew killed by lightning

News Desk : dhakamirror.com A man and his nephew were struck by lightning in Satarbari village of Longair union under Gafargaon upazila of Mymensingh yesterday. The deceased were identified as Sohel Mondol, 40, a trader of pharmaceutical drugs, and his nephew Razib Mondol, 35 a rice trader in the village. Quoting locals, Raju Ahmed, officer-in-charge ... Read more

TV sales decline despite World Cup: Is streaming to blame?

News Desk : dhakamirror.com The ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 captures the attention of sports enthusiasts across the world and an intriguing trend is emerging in Bangladesh’s television market. While events of this magnitude have traditionally led to an increase in TV sales, recent figures from September show a 30% decline compared to the same ... Read more

Heritage volunteers visit Paharpur archaeological museum

News Desk : dhakamirror.com The heritage volunteers participating in UNESCO World Heritage Volunteers Programme 2023 visited Paharpur archaeological museum in Naogaon on Friday. The ten-day workshop programme organised by Nagar Upakhyan-Perceive started on October 1, said a press release. The Heritage volunteers’ team visited Paharpur archaeological museum which is on the UNESCO World Heritage tentative ... Read more

Child among three dead as mud walls collapsed in rain in Gazipur

News Desk : dhakamirror.com Three people including an eight-year-old child died in separate incidents of mud walls collapsing during heavy rain in Sadar and Kaliakoir upazilas of Gazipur. The deceased are Faridul Islam, 8, son of Matiur Rahmon of Konabari Baimile under Sadar upazila, and Imarat Hossain, 65, and his wife Achia Begum, 56, of ... Read more