In January this year, a number of the UniPay2U fraud racket were convicted by a Dhaka court with 12 year’s rigorous imprisonment, in a case filed for laundering around Tk 1,351 crore through multi-level marketing sham. The convicted are Managing Director Mohammad Muntasir Hossain alias Emon, Chairman Md Shahiduzzaman Shahin, Executive Director Masudur Rahman, General Manager AM Jamshed Rahman, Adviser Monju Ehsan Chowdhury and Director HM Arshad Ullah.
Of them, Muntasir, Jamshed and Arshad were present during the verdict while the rest are absconding. Judge Abu Syed Diljar Hossain of the Special Judge Court-3 handed down the sentence.
The court also fined them around Tk 2,702 crore and directed them to pay the fine in favor of the state within 180 days, in default legal actions will be taken against them.
Around Tk 4.2 billion seized from the convicts’ accounts and all properties of unipay2u were also confiscated in favor of the state.
The punishment for the convicts, now in jail, became effective from January 23, 2019 and for the fugitives from the day of their arrest or surrender, the judge added in his judgement.
On January 25, 2011, Taufiqul Islam, an assistant director of Anti-Corruption Commission, filed the case with Shahbagh Police Station against the officials of unipay2u, a so-called multilevel marketing company, for amassing money by cheating people.
In the case, it was alleged that the accused lured people into investing in gold, promising higher profit against the purchase.
After getting registration from the Registrar of Joint Stock Companies & Firms on November 22, 2009, the accused started collecting money from people, which stands at around Tk 1,351 crore. They deposited the money into three banks.
Of the money, the accused withdrew over Tk 270 crore and transferred some in their personal accounts on different dates.
They also sold land in the company’s name, which is tantamount to the offense of laundering money, according to the charge sheet. After an investigation, ACC on June 22, 2011 pressed charges against the six, which was framed on July 6, 2015.
Luring people through false promises
UniPay2U kingpin Mohammad Muntasir Hossain alias Emon and few of his cohorts were active in fooling people through its website UniPay2U as well as several blogs such as UniPay2bd. They were also issuing ‘International Debit Card’ to its members, which actually were fake.
With the slogan – ‘Make Money From Bangladesh Online’, Unipay2U was registered on October 11, 2009 under the name and title of Unipay2U Bangladesh (Pvt) Limited. Its incorporation certificate number is C-003053/09. About its activities, the blog said, “UniPay2U is a gold trading company. Here an investor buys gold for storage in a professional bullion vault”, although such business activities are totally illegal. Moreover, the masterminds of this fraud racket were neither buying any gold, nor were storing in any “professional bullion vault”. It was lie, which Mohammad Muntasir Hossain alias Emon and his cronies thought of the best tricks of luring people in giving their hard-earned money into the grips of this fraud racket.
Addresses of this racket are: Best Genius Sdn. Bhd, No, F-3-36, IOI Boulevard, Jalan Kenari 5, Bandar Puchong Jaya, 47100, Puchong, Selangor, Malaysia, Tel: +603 8076 6012 / +603 8076 4692 Fax: +603 8076 6239;
UNIPAY2U BANGLADESH LTD, Motaleb Tower (5th Floor), Room No# C, 8/2, Paribag, Shahabag, Dhaka-1000, Bangladesh, Contact Number: 88-02-9611840; Fax Number: 88-02-9613140, Email : [email protected]; and Chittagong Office at 36/7, CDA Avenue, Muradpur, Chittagong, Contact Number: 8801743-614261, 8801918-231480.
On the website, this fraud racket had stated that it was based in Malaysia and after 10 years of successful business in that country, it had “gained licenses to open seven wings over the world in Philippines, India, Bangladesh, UAE, Thailand, China, and Nepal”. In reality, there has not been any entity of those years either in Malaysia, nor it had any license issued in countries like the United Arab Emirates, Thailand, the Philippines, India, China and Nepal.
Connections between UniPay2U fraudsters and Salim Prodhan
According to credible sources, masterminds of Unipay2U were smuggling out millions of dollars to Malaysia in particular through controversial businessman Salim Prodhan, who has been recently arrested on allegations of operating casinos and money laundering. Those amounts had been sent directly to the wife of Mohammad Muntasir Hossain alias Emon. Although Emon is in prison since 2011, his wife and daughter are living in Malaysia and have invested large amount of money into various businesses.
Awaiting bail to flee the country
For the past few months, Mohammad Muntasir Hossain alias Emon has been making frantic bids in getting bail and silently leave the country. One of his key cohorts had managed getting out of the prison on bail in 2017 and since has been hiding in the city.