POST TIME: 29 November, 2018 02:05:50 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 29 November, 2018 07:55:51 AM
Illegal VoIP businesses to face money laundering trial
Tareque Moretza, Dhaka

Illegal VoIP businesses to face money laundering trial

Money laundering cases will be filed against the persons who are involved in illegal Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) business, said Md Jahurul Haque,  chairman of Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC).

Money is being smuggled to outside of the country through illegal VoIP business and the commission will take measures to eradicate such crimes, he said.    

“We will no longer file general cases against the accused persons involved in illegal VoIP business, money laundering cases will also be filed against them,” the BTRC chairman told The Independent on Sunday.

The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission  has found negligence of operators in preventing the illegal Voice over

Internet Protocol (VoIP) business.

Md Jahurul Haque said the regulator would take strict action against the operators in this regard, if needed.

Haque said the BTRC had talked about the illegal  VoIP business at another press conference about a month ago. But the number of illegal VoIP calls had not reduced since then, he added.

Brigadier General Md Mustafa Kamal Md Mustafa Kamal, director general of the Engineering & Operations Division of the BTRC, said the government was losing Tk 2,300 crore annually due to the illegal VoIP business.

He also said militants were getting involved in this business to promote terror-financing. So, the BTRC is considering to treat the matter as a formal case as well as a criminal case involving money laundering, he added.

The BTRC and RAB in a joint drive recently seized 42,000 SIM cards, used for illegally routing international calls through VoIP, during separate raids in the capital and the port city in October. They also seized illegal VoIP equipment worth Tk 1.23 crore. They arrested 24 people and sued them under the Telecommunications Act 2011.

The BTRC chairman said the operators should follow the rules of even after selling their SIMs. He expressed wonder as to why the

operators were unable to seize their SIMs. "The operators should be accountable for this to the BTRC," he added.

“We’re not saying that the operators are involved. But they will have to monitor the distributors more often. Only then can we get rid of this illegal call business,” Haque said.