Police’s Criminal Investigation Department (CID) said they have received evidence of income of Tk 108 crore from Bangladeshi citizens by spreading obscenity on social media ‘Bigo App‘.
In this incident, a case has been registered under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act in the name of five people, including Chinese national Yao Jie, the managing director of Bigo Bangla. In the case, Chinese citizen Yao Jie has been accused of smuggling 79 crore taka from Bangladesh to abroad.
CID Sub-Inspector (SI) Sohel Rana, the plaintiff in the case, told media that he investigated money laundering allegations against Bigo Live for more than a year. Later, he filed a case on September 25, subject to collection of money laundering documents. In the case, Bigo Bangla Limited, Bigo Bangla employees SM Nazmul Haque, Arif Hossain and the company named Monson Holding have been made defendants.
In June last year, the CID arrested five people, including Chinese national Yao Jie, for spreading obscenity through live videos on the Bigo app. Later, a case was filed against them under Digital Security and Pornography Control Act at Paltan police station. The other four accused in the case are Bigo Bangla workers Mustafa Saif Reza, Arif Hossain, SM Nazmul Haque and Asma ul Husna Sejuti. Others, including Chinese nationals, are now in prison.
While investigating the case, the CID came to know about money laundering of Bigo Live Bangla Limited abroad. Later CID SI Sohail Rana started investigating the money laundering allegations. The organization has filed a case against Bigo Bangla after receiving concrete evidence of money laundering.
Bigo Bangla Spreading obscenity
Bigo app users in Bangladesh have been accused of spreading sexually suggestive dialogues, acting, gestures. The majority of users of Bigo app are youth and expatriate Bangladeshi citizens. There are two types of IDs in this app. An ID name is Broadcaster. Broadcaster ID is used by young people.
Obscenity is spread in the name of video streaming. Users have to buy virtual currency diamonds or beans to chat in live streaming. Diamonds could be purchased through apps from mobile financial services providers.
Bigo Bangla’s main company name is Bigo Technology. Singapore-based technology Bigo started its journey in 2016.
Bigo Bangla’s income is Tk 108 crore
According to the review of the case documents, Bigo Bangla Limited was registered in Bangladesh on October 2, 2019 from the Directorate of Joint Capital Companies and Firms. Chairman of Bigo Bangla is Chinese citizen Jai Juhang. Managing Director Yao Ji. And the director is Li Jueling. According to the memorandum of association of the company, Bigo Bangla company will mainly do software development.
Besides, it will sell digital products including manufacturing, buying and selling of computer parts. Money cannot be transacted through virtual currency ‘Diamonds’ or ‘Beans’ through video chatting.
According to the statement of the case, Bigo Bangla Limited received money from Monsoon Holding Limited’s Gateway Suryamukhi Limited for money laundering. Neither Monsoon Holding nor Suryamukhi is registered as a payment system operator by Bangladesh Bank.
Two bank account details of Bigo Bangla in Bangladesh have been found. From January 15, 2020 to July 18 last year, 43 crores were deposited in those two accounts. 14 crores have been withdrawn. Another 29 crore Tk are deposited. That money has been blocked by court order.
Selling virtual currency
According to the documents in the case, SM Nazmul Haque is the representative of Bangladesh selling virtual currency diamonds. Bigo Live customers used to buy virtual currency diamonds from Nazmul Haque.
Later Nazmul deposited that money as Bigo Bangla Bank Acc. Later Bigo Bangla’s MD Yao Jie deposited the money to another Chinese citizen Jessica and Jahang Lin. These two Chinese nationals (Jessica and Jahang) have businesses in Bangladesh. They submitted Bigo Bangla’s parent company Bigo Technology as a bank in Singapore.
CID’s case documents about Bigo Bangla
According to CID’s case documents, Bigo Bangla’s MD Yao Lee has two bank account details in Bangladesh. 43 crores and 50 lakhs are deposited as those two. And Nazmul Haque of Bigo collected 47 crores as 12 banks. Of this, 46 crore Tk were withdrawn to Yao Lee of Bigor. Apart from this, another 17 crore Tk are deposited in Nazmul’s Bikash number. This money was also given to Chinese national Yao.
According to the preliminary details of the case, another employee of Bigo Bangla, Arif, deposited Tk 1 crore 26 lakh as bank account. Of this, 1 crore 25 lakhs have been withdrawn to Chinese Yao.
According to the statement of the case, Bigo Bangla’s sharing app Bigo Live lured customers by showing sexually suggestive dialogues and video images through live chat and live videos. Later, Bigo Bangla collected Tk 108 crore from customers in the name of selling virtual currency. Of this, 29 crores have been blocked (frozen) by court orders. The remaining 79 crore Tk were smuggled abroad.