The app Safe SourceBD pays off the existing clients by collecting money from new investors
Safe SourceBD is an app available for download on Google Play store.
Clients investing money through the app Safe SourceBD are promised an astounding 142 percent annual rate of return. For investing Tk1 lakh, a person would receive Tk300-390 per day, amounting to Tk142,350 at the end of the year.
According to information provided on the app, the money collected from clients would be invested on readymade garment and e-commerce businesses.
However, Syed Tushar Hossain, the man behind this app, never invested the estimated Tk2-3 crore collected from investors. Yet, he has not defaulted on returns.
So where did all the money come from?
This is the case of a classic Ponzi scheme where Tushar would pay off the existing clients by collecting money from new investors.
Cyber Police Centre of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) arrested Tushar from Shewrapara, Mirpur on Monday.
Law enforcement arrested him because running an investment scheme requires the permission of the Bangladesh Bank or the Department of Cooperatives under the Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives.
Tushar has no permission to run such a business.
Surprisingly, none of the investors ever met Tushar or visited his office. They trusted him because he had not defaulted on the payments. His partner in the scheme is currently absconding.
"Tushar started this business six month ago. Around 400 people have already invested using this app. We found about this scheme through ads that he posted on Facebook," said Mohammad Mostafa Kamal, special superintendent at the CID Organised Crime department.
CID has found individual investments starting from Tk100 to Tk90,000 made using this app.
"He has been unable to produce any documents proving that he has invested the money collected from clients," the CID official added.
During initial interrogation he confessed to the scam and that he had started this business to swindle money from his clients, CID informed at a press briefing on Monday, held at its headquarters in Dhaka.
Tushar, 32, hails from Fultala upazila in Khulna. After completing his HSC exams, he failed to land a stable job or start a successful business. Later, he took a beginner course on e-commerce.
While admitted to this course, he came up with the idea for this scheme. He then hired a local firm to develop the app.
Clients could invest money in the app and also withdraw money using bKash.
CID Additional Special Superintendent Md Kamrul Hasan said they are going to file a case against Tushar under the Digital Security Act for spreading disinformation online.