Govt fails to pay off cheated clients

August 23, 2014

Jubok’s Embezzlement
Govt fails to pay off cheated clients
None of the over three lakh cheated clients of JUBOK got back the money they had deposited with the fraudster due to the government’s inaction. They have been waiting for years to get back the money as the government promised them while appointing the first commission in 2010 to deal with the issue. A permanent commission was appointed in the following year also to deal with the issues involved.
The government’s repeated assurances given in last four years to realize the money from the assets of the fraudulent multi level company Jubo Krmasangsthan Society, better known as JUBOK, to pay off the cheated clients yielded no visible result.
At least 17 subsidiaries of JUBOK which had business interests in real estate, telecommunication, tourism, health and agriculture took deposits from the non suspecting clients promising hefty profits only to cheat them.
Jubok was registered in 1997 under the Societies Registration Act1860.
The two commissions held several meetings in last four or five years but the cheated clients see little hope of getting their money back as promised.
Officials blamed mainly the government’s indecision for the fruitless promises.
They said that the government assigned four ministries and the departments under them, to find ways to sell the illegally acquired assets of JUBOK to pay off the cheated investors.
No result could be produced mainly due to differences in opinion among the ministries, they aid.
The commerce ministry ignored a recommendation given by finance ministry’s banks and financial institutions division a year back to appoint an administrator to take control of JUBOK’s assets in Dhaka and other cities worth Tk 3,000 crore.
Commerce secretary Hedayetullah Al Mamun said that an inter-ministerial meeting on Thursday discussed the different aspect of appointment of the administrator to liquidate JUBOK’s illegally amassed assets.
The ministries of finance, law, land and social welfare and Bangladesh
Bank have been asked to provide all information they have about JUBOK at the meeting to help the commerce ministry prepare for the next course of action, he said.
It was obligatory on the part of the government to appoint the administrator to take control of JUBOK assets, as recommended by the permanent commission on JUBOK, headed by former bureaucrat Rafiqul Islam, in March 2013, said officials.
In 2010, the government had appointed the first commission headed by former central bank governor Mohammad Farashuddin.
JUBOK owes its clients Tk 2,588 crore, says a Farashuddin Commission report.
Transparency International Bangladesh executive director Iftekharuzzaman described the failure of the government to prevent the mushrooming growth of fraudulent companies.
JUBOK’s business operations were suspended in 2006 after it was found involved in illegal banking.
Failure of governments to penalize such shady companies and their officials encouraged the growth of such companies, said officials.
Destiny Group, another MLM company, lone embezzled over Tk 4,000 crore deposited by its clients.
Destiny Group also faces the charge of flouting banking rules.
The permanent commission on JUBOK in its report blamed patronage from ministers, MPs and powerful politicians for the rapid growth of such companies to cheat thousands of people.
The commission also blamed officials’ leniency for the mushrooming growth of cooperative societies and multi-level marketing companies to get involved in illegal banking business and money laundering.
In last 10 years, countless people became paupers cheated by companies like JUBOK, Destiny, Unipay2U Bangladesh, Unigateway2u Trading (Pvt) Limited, Uniroot Finance, Maa Policom Limited, Zen International, Rabon X, Low at Vision and Speak Asia Online Bangladesh Limited.
The government’s declared objective of paying off the cheated clients remains unfulfilled even after appointing two commissions.
The Farashuddin Commission was appointed in 2010 and the permanent commission on JUBOK headed by Former joint secretary Rafiqul Islam was appointed in 2011.
The permanent commission investigation found JUBOK’s assets worth Tk3,000 crore in and around Dhaka.
It recommended cancellation of business licenses of all the 17 JUBOK
It also recommended to appoint an administrator to take control of Jubok’s assets and sell them to pay off the cheated clients.

-Input from New Age

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