Bigo and other streaming apps are being used by criminals. A group of youths under the leadership of a Chinese national in Bangladesh were involved into laundering millions of dollars every month through live streaming apps such as Bigo Live and Likee. Criminal Investigation Department (CID) arrested five persons including its ringleader.
The arrested Bangladeshis were identified as Mostafa Saif Reza, 26; Arif Hossain, 27; SM Nazmul Haque, 27; and Asmaul Husna, 28. However, details of the Chinese national are yet to be revealed by CID.
According to CID, it has so far tracked down transactions of over BDT one billion in bank and mobile financial service accounts of the arrestees and their accomplices.
The CID officials suspected that majority of the money were siphoned from the country.
Youths and Bangladeshi expats are targets of these rackets, CID sources said, adding that many are being lured through “obscenity” during live streaming.
To join the live streaming, its users have to top up “Bigo Live Diamonds” from their Bangladesh based agents. These “diamonds” are digital currency that local agents buy from foreign admins through banks, MFS or hundi.
The racket has been siphoning off millions of takas every month.
CID officials said Saif and Asma are the Bangladesh based admins of Bigo Live; Arif used to recruit young girls and have them join in the live streaming; and Nazmul is one of the agents who sold “Bigo Live Diamonds” to users.
Meanwhile, Cyber Crime unit of Bangladesh Police are looking for dozens of females who have been using messaging apps Imo in running virtual brothels and porn clubs by luring various individuals. Users of Imo are lured by these girls in joining live chats in exchange for payment for every minute. Similarly, some females are also using TikTok, Instagram and Likee through which they publish obscene contents with the ulterior motive of making money through viewership. The source said, they also have identified several accounts on Facebook and Twitter, which also are used by females in running virtual prostitution and trade in porn.