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MFS agents help bring in up to Tk 3bn in remittances through Hundi every month

November 25, 2022 00:00:00

Police's Criminal Investigation Department, or CID, says Bangladeshis are using mobile financial service or MFS to bring home Tk 2 billion to Tk 3 billion in remittances every month through Hundi, an illegal channel, reports bdnews24.com.

CID chief Mohammad Ali Mia revealed the information on Tuesday, a day after arresting six people in drives around Dhaka and Cumilla for their suspected involvement with transferring tens of millions of taka through Hundi.

The arrestees are Mir Md Kamrul Hasan Shishir, 28, Khorshed Alam, 34, Md Ibrahim Khalil, 34, Kazi Shah Newaz, 46, Md Azizul Haque Talukder, 42, and Md Nizam Uddin, 35.

"Several groups are involved with making transactions through Hundi. CID's Financial Crime and Cyber Crime units discovered the information by analysing transactions made through SIM cards of 2,000 MFS agents," Ali Mia said.

"The arrestees are involved with Hundi business and laundering money abroad. They've been laundering money and transferring the hard-earned money of wage earners living abroad into local currencies instead of sending it home."

Ali Mia said the Hundi business is operated in three groups. The first collects the foreign currency from expatriates and hands it to those seeking to launder it. The next delivers the money to MFS agents in the local currency. The last group, consisting of MFS agents, then settles the transfer in the local currency.

CID found that the huge sum of monthly transactions was done through agent SIM cards of JA Enterprise, a bKash distribution house owned by arrestee Khorshed in Cumilla's Laksam.

Citing the arrestees' response in interrogation, Ali Mia said expatriate Hundi traders in Saudi Arabia used to send the money to Bangladesh with help from different MFS agents using a platform - freedomflexi.com.

The members of the group conducted other illegal business, including online gambling, trading in cryptocurrency and drugs, and smuggling gold, according to the CID.

Ali Mia also said that every mobile financial service has many distribution houses and should monitor the activities of each agent. "If they don't do so, the agents will be brought under the law."

bKash Head of Corporate Communications Shamsuddin Haider Dalim said: "We regularly monitor their activities and report to the Financial Intelligence Unit as soon as we identify any irregularities."

He said bKash often provided information which led to the arrest of those involved with the irregularities.

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