Home Bangladesh Cooperative societies’illegal banking pushes customers to high risk
Bangladesh - March 11, 2024

Cooperative societies’illegal banking pushes customers to high risk

Ayub Ali : The big fraud is going on in the name of registered or unregistered multipurpose cooperative societies and cooperative societies of Chittagong city. These institutions are conducting banking activities illegally and collecting deposits by luring the common people with high interest rates. These deposits are either investing themselves in other businesses, or losing customers’ money. The lower classes are being cheated.
According to the information of the Cooperative Office, there are a total of 3,236 registered cooperative societies in Chittagong. Another source says that the number of such institutions is more than 10 thousand. Most of these are unregistered. The number of cooperative societies registered in this metropolis is 1,451.
There are 864 societies in EPZ and port area alone. In other words, there are several lakhs of workers in Chittagong port and port-related institutions and there are more garment factories in this area, so the number of workers is also high. All activities of the cooperative society revolve around these workers.
Among these associations, some organizations target specific areas and collect large sums of money from there. Statistics show that at least 150 cooperative societies have disappeared with customer money from EPZ and Doublemooring areas of the city in the last few years alone. Even if nominal complaints are made to the police station, due to the lack of vigilance by the cooperative officials, interest dealings and frauds are going on. As a result, the tears of the customers are not stopping.
Deceived people said that the owner of a cooperative society called Ekta Shramjeevi Cooperative Society Limited in No. 1 Navy Welfare Market opposite EPZ police station in the city. Russell has lost at least two crore rupees from the customer. The license of the association is also in his name. He took money from this association by targeting garment workers and low-income people. Even earlier, more than half a hundred companies have closed their operations from the EPZ area without returning the deposits of thousands of customers.
It can be seen from the surface, there are more multipurpose companies among the 41 wards of the city in EPZ, North and South Kattali, Halishahar, Patenga, Baklia, Chawkbazar, Court Building area, Kazir Deuri, Dewan Bazar, Ambagan, Jhautla, Pahartali, Khatunganj, Tulatali, Patharghata and other parts of the city. In labor populated areas. Among them, there are more than 50 multipurpose or multipurpose cooperative societies in the court building area of the city. They are known there as Samiti.
A legal assistant named Russell in the court building area said that Peshkar, various vendors and various court officials deposited deposits in the hands of the association’s field workers. Even though the field workers work in these institutions for a nominal salary, fraudsters remain behind the scenes. In this way only crores of deposits are being collected without rules.
Mahmudul Islam, a laborer from Laldighi’s Par area told, “I used to deposit some of my income in a multipurpose cooperative society named ‘Muktir Alo’ through a person. But I heard their office closed since yesterday. I am very worried about the deposit.
Conscious citizens said that according to the Co-operative Societies Act, 2002, the Co-operative Societies cannot do banking. But they are careless as no one has taken visible steps in these matters. As a result, illegal cooperative activities have become uncontrolled. As a result, people are easily deceived.
In this regard, the district cooperative officials said, according to the cooperative law, the societies are not allowed to do banking. However, the co-operative regulations provide for collection of fixed deposits from the members. Various associations are doing this banking using those rules. Some are deceived by the information that comes to us. In some cases, we also conduct expeditions. But due to lack of manpower, we cannot raid everywhere. However, amendments are being made to these rules soon.
Rafiqul Islam, an official of a private commercial bank, told that the Bangladesh Bank Act states that the banking activities of these institutions are unauthorized except for listed scheduled banks and their branches, which is completely illegal. As an NGO, these micro-credit regulatory financial transactions are also illegal. So public awareness should be created.

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