No action against Destiny despite BB adviceShakhawat Hossain
The government, ‘for some mysterious reasons’ took no action against Destiny Multipurpose Co-operative Society Limited though Bangladesh Bank recommended 12 days back a dozen measures against it including immediate ban on its membership collection drive and transfer of funds to other companies, officials said.
They said that due to ‘some mysterious reasons’ the government took no action against the company, a subsidiary of the controversial Destiny Group.
The central bank asked for the actions following its investigation against Destiny Multipurpose Cooperative Society Limited in early February prompted by widespread allegations of financial malpractices by the company and its directors.
Bangladesh Bank submitted its investigation report to finance ministry on March 20 with 14 recommendations.
Formed under the Cooperative Societies Act 2001, Destiny Multipurpose Cooperative Society Limited has been collecting savings from its members, according to the BB report.
The report said, Destiny has been mopping up huge savings like the commercial banks which is ‘totally illegal’.
It said, Destiny spent Tk 2.12 billion without any approval and its annual report has never been audited by any authorized audit firm.
The BB report said, Destiny transferred huge amount of fund to its other companies, mainly engaged in housing and real estate business.
Bangladesh Bank said that Destiny Multi-purpose Cooperative Society Limited shrewdly transferred its ‘very risky’ liabilities on the shoulders of thousands of people, called its members.
A copy of the report obtained by New Age showed that the company set a goal to raise its membership to 10 million from 6.8 million.
‘I am yet to go through the Bangladesh Bank report,’ finance minister AMA Muhith told the reporters last week.
‘The government wants to stop illegal activities of multi-level marketing companies including Destiny,’ Muhith, however, said
He said the commerce ministry had been asked to make the rules to streamline the activities of multi-level-marketing companies.
The commerce ministry, however, failed a number of deadlines to make the rules and send it to the cabinet committee for approval, official sources said.
They expressed doubts about the intentions of the government particularly because the central bank cautioned it a number of times about the illegal activities of Destiny Group over the last five years.
They said that the government did not pay any attention to the recommendations made by Bangladesh Bank earlier.
Officials said that experience showed that the government was not at all serious to stop the illegal financial activities of Destiny.
In this regard, they said that a six-member committee, appointed by the government on February 13, 2012 to probe into the financial irregularities of Destiny Multipurpose Co-operative Society, could not hold a single meeting in last one and half months as not all the ministries sent their representatives.
That’s why, the Registrar of Joint Stock Companies and Firms, Ahmedur Rahim, who heads the committee, told New Age that he could not hold a single meeting of the committee.
‘Only one or two ministries sent the names of representative,’ he added.
Official sources said that not even the ministries of finance and commerce sent their representatives.
Asked for his comments, commerce secretary Ghulam Hossain said he was unable to speak as he was attending commerce minister GM Quader undergoing treatment following an accident.
Officials said that Destiny kept in its payroll many influential persons including politicians, retired high profile civil and military bureaucrats, academicians and influential journalists to influence successive governments.
In 2004, Bangladesh Bank first raised the question about the illegal activities of Destiny and requested the government to take action against it.
A committee formed by the ministry of commerce towards the fag end of the tenure of the last political regime could not complete its report.
Destiny Multipurpose Cooperative Society Limited chairman Rafiqul Amin on Saturday described the BB probe report as ‘motivated’.
He told New Age that BB made false allegation against his company. He said BB allegation about non-cooperation from his company ‘is not true.’
BB report, however, said that Destiny could not or did not provide the papers and documents the investigation team of Bangladesh Bank had wanted from it.
Amin said his company had no problem facing any legal action from Bangladesh Bank.
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