a year ago

Scam-hit Destiny tries to resume operations

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Scam-tainted multi-level marketing (MLM) company Destiny 2000 Ltd has sought approval to operate its business again, aiming to protect the interests of 4.5 million families.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the company Dr Mohammad Shamsul Haque Bhuiyan has recently requested the commerce ministry in this regard, according to a letter of the MLM company.

Earlier, the company requested the commerce minister to settle the issue, the letter mentioned.

Many people across the country were cheated by several so-called MLM companies - Destiny and Jubok were the market leaders among all.

Thousands of youths got involved in the Destiny that defrauded millions across the country. Some of the key sponsors of the MLM company are in prison, whereas the victims have not got a penny back yet.

The company top officials also took funds from the company in the name of profit, honorarium, salary and allowance, said a source in the company.

Destiny launched its MLM business in 2000 and it raised TK 41.16 billion by 2012. It claims that it currently has 4.5 million customers, buyers and distributors.

According to a court order, police have been given the responsibility to maintain and supervise movable and immovable property of Destiny 2000.

Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) and superintendent of police (SP) at the district level have been maintaining the assets of the MLM company in the capital and outside it, respectively, since 2013.

According to a Bangladesh Bank (BB) report, the company has assets in 22 districts including Dhaka.

These assets are divided into two parts - some are in the name of the organisation, while some in the name of the directors concerned.

There are 28 flats in the capital that are owned by Destiny Managing Director (MD) Rafiqul Amin, who is now in jail.

Farah Diba, wife of Rafiqul Amin, also owns assets in Old Dhaka and Dhanmondi.

Besides, Destiny Chairman Mohammad Hossain has plots-flats in Siddheswari, Khilgaon, Gandaria, Cantonment and Bhatara areas of Dhaka.

The company owns houses at Darussalam and Purana Paltan lines, Dhaka, and a 5,000-square-foot floor on the 10th floor at the Nasir Trade Center in the city's Banglamotor.

In addition, the MLM company has 24 rubber plantations in Bandarban, Chattogram and Cox's Bazar.

It also has seven acres of land in Khulna, land for construction of business centres in six divisional cities, land for hotels in Cox's Bazar, and land for setting up Destiny Agro Industries in Gazipur.

Earlier, on July 31, 2012, the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) filed two cases against 53 officials of Destiny, including its MD Rafiqul Amin and Chairman Mohammad Hossain, with the Kalabagan Police Station in Dhaka under the Money Laundering Prevention Act.

The two cases are now pending with the Dhaka Special Judge's Court-4.

Asked about Destiny's aim to run its operations again, senior officials of the commerce ministry did not make any comment on the issue.

They said that the matter was currently pending with the court.

In September last, Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi opined at an event that 50-60 per cent affected customers of MLM companies Destiny and Jubok might get back their money.

Both the MLM companies had notable assets, and the prices of these assets have also increased significantly now, he added.

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