Dhaka, Jan 19 (bdnews24.com) – Officials of Unipay2U, a multi-level marketing (MLM) firm accused of luring gullible investors with huge profit, did not show up at the scheduled press conference on Wednesday.
Instead, some of its agents and depositors appeared at the National Press Club around 11 am.
A few hundred Unipay2U depositors gathered in front of the Press Club before the press conference. The policemen, however, dispersed them by charging batons.
Unipay2U manager (operations) Malik Hasan, who convened the press meet, told bdnews24.com over phone that the company board of directors had suddenly decided to skip the event.
“That’s why some members (agents and depositors) of the company were sent to the conference.”
He, however, said the position of the company would be made clear by holding a fresh press conference next week.
Unipay2U drew attention of the media and the policymakers after luring the prospective depositors through a mobile phone message, which reads: “Deposit with Unipay2U, double Tk 100,000 within 10 months and contribute to a digital Bangladesh’.
The government has vowed to take stern actions against the ‘fraudulent firm’ for collecting deposit flouting the law and tarnishing its image by using ‘digital Bangladesh’, a term widely used by the government.
The depositors attending the Wednesday’s press meet were divided in their opinions. Some were blaming the media for the troubles that the firm is now facing while others held the company operators rewsponsible.
“We are blaming neither the government nor the finance minister. The circumstance has been created by propaganda of the media,” said Dipu, an agent.
Another agent, Abu Taher, said some depositors have been scared of being cheated. “But none has been cheated.”
A depositor, Azad Jaman, however, told the press conference: “Unipay2U made us greedy. We’re trapped. Please save us.”
He urged the government to monitor activities of the company.
Meanwhile, a government circular on Jan 16 said Unipay2U tarnished the government’s image through false publicity.
The circular cautioned people against the mobile text campaign of the firm promising to double deposits within 10 months.
The circular said the propaganda has recently come to the government’s attention. Bangladesh Bank is about to take necessary steps against the firm.
The government has requested the people not to be fooled with the colourful advertisements and catchy slogan.
Earlier, Bangladesh Bank had warned the people in a press release on Jan 9 that some MLM firms were collecting money, promising high interest. It said such kind of investment is highly risky.
The same day, finance minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith, said they would take strict measures against the ‘fraudulent firm’.
The following day commerce minister Faruq Khan said the government would enact a law to regulate multi-level marketing businesses.
According to the Registrar of Joint Stock of Companies and Firms, there are 70 such firms currently operating in Bangladesh.