All MLM Business are invalid in Bangladesh
All multi-level marketing (MLM) companies are now illegal in Bangladesh. There is not a single MLM company licensed by the government. Anyone doing business in MLM system will be legally punishable. And if ordinary people get involved in this business, they will definitely cheat and will not get any remedy.
Sources in the Ministry of Commerce, the Office of the Registrar of Joint Capital Companies and Firms and unlicensed companies said in a statement.
When contacted, Commerce Secretary Hedayatullah Al Mamun told Prothom Alo on Thursday, “There are no licensed MLM companies in the country at the moment. Anyone doing business in this manner without a license will be punishable by law. And if a person does business with companies knowing that they don’t have a license, they are also responsible for it. ‘
Although it has been going on for almost a decade and a half, there was no law in the country to do business in MLM system. But with the registration from Rejesco, more than a hundred MLM companies were formed in the country. The government first took cognizance of the issue in 2012 after the Destiny Group was caught in a trap of irregularities, corruption and fraud.
For over a decade (2000-2012), Destiny has raised over Rs 5,000 crore from the MLM business. Various agencies including Bangladesh Bank have investigated the matter. According to almost all the reports, out of the five thousand crore rupees collected from the customers, the officials of Destiny have embezzled about four thousand crore rupees. They have built houses and cars in their own name in the sense of customers. They are also accused of smuggling hundreds of crores of rupees.
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has filed a case against 46 people of Destiny for embezzlement and money laundering. Meanwhile, the Multilevel Marketing Activities (Control) Act was enacted in October 2013. Under this law, the rules were made in February 2014, which were amended again on July 22 of the same year. The law imposes an obligation to obtain a license for business in the MLM system. The agency responsible for issuing the license was Rezsco. According to this law, MLM business cannot be done without a license. Transferring licenses without government approval is also prohibited.
The law states that pyramid-like marketing activities are carried out, products are sold without packaging with specific information, products or services are not sold as promised, unreasonable pricing of goods or services, sale of substandard goods or services and advertising with untrue, imaginary and misleading information. Punishable offense.
On March 5, 2014, Rezco licensed four companies to do business in MLM system for one year. The companies are MXN Modern Herbal Food, WorldVision 21, Independent Online Public Limited and Rich Business Systems. Their licenses expired on March 4 this year. But the government has received allegations of financial irregularities against them. Although the companies applied for license renewal, Rezco did not renew. The company is said to have breached four conditions. RezSCO officials said the license was not issued, so no company would be able to conduct business and create new customers in this way.
However, a total of 21 applications for licenses were submitted to Rezco. Four were licensed but the remaining 16 did not. The companies not available are: Destiny 2000 Ltd., MOY International, Tiansi BD, SMN Global, AB Nutric International, Advance Bangla, Desan BD, D Classic Life BD, Dream Together, Excellent Future Marketing, Forever Living Products, Life BD, Lifeway BD, Luxor Global N, McNom International and Vision Industries BD Limited.
Later, they appealed to the Ministry of Commerce and the Ministry held hearings in stages. But the ministry did not license any of them. Several of these companies have resorted to the courts for licenses. Some companies have been given a three-month stay by the court while others have been given a six-month stay.
According to Rezco sources, the company has investigated and found that their licenses cannot be renewed. The Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Ministry of Commerce also constituted a Parliamentary Sub-Committee on the matter. The committee examined the overall activities of these organizations and prepared a report. It is also recommended not to give MLM license.
Meanwhile, an official information statement said last December that doing business in the MLM system without a license is a non-bailable offense. The government urges people at all levels to inform the nearest police station or law enforcement agency if anyone is doing this business without a license and committing fraud.
Asked what would happen to the MLM law, ministry officials declined to comment. Simply put, they are fiercely opposed to the MLM system of business. Their analysis in this regard is the forgetful character of the people of the country, excessive greed, corruption and lavish attitude. They said MLM is a controversial method of business. MLM company fraud has been caught not only in Bangladesh but in many countries of the world. After the Destiny scam was caught, the MLM system business in Bangladesh should have been shut down forever. Instead, a law has been passed, which was not necessary at all.
An additional secretary of the commerce ministry, who did not want to be named, said these issues should have been taken into account when drafting the law. With an example, he said, the late Awami League leader Mostafa in the nineties, showing greed for extra profits.