Mukta Security Service has been providing security guards for various business establishments and residential projects in Chattogram without a licence for several years now.
The unlicensed company was set up in the Mohammad Nagar area of Alamgir Road under Bayezid Bostami Police Station and 56 security guards provided by the firm are currently working at various organisations.
On 5 September the Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishments (DIFE) sued the company for operating without a licence.
DIFE Chattogram Labour Inspector (General) Aminul Islam filed a criminal case with the Chattogram First Labour Court against Md Mobiar, owner of Mukta Security Services.
DIFE does not have statistics on the number of security companies operating in Chattogram without a licence.
Earlier this year, the department filed a case against the city's Kashful Security Service on charges of providing security guards without a licence.
Cases or lawsuits are being prepared against two other companies also, NT Security Service and Dolphin Security Service, in Shershah area of the port city, Labour Inspector Aminul Islam told The Business Standard.
Sources at the department said around 90 companies in the city are providing security guards with licences from DIFE.
DIFE Chattogram Deputy Inspector General Abdullah Al Shakib Mubarrat said providing security guards is a sensitive matter.
"Here issues of worker safety and employment are involved. Who will take responsibility if security guards on duty fall victim to any kind of unpleasant incident? Legal action is being taken to identify business entities providing security guards without a licence," he added.
According to the provisions of the Bangladesh Labour Act 2006, no contractor by any name, which provides employees for different positions on a contract basis to different organisations, can conduct such activities without registration with the government.
The Bangladesh Labour Rules enacted on 15 September 2015 mention the process of obtaining a contractor's licence. Despite the obligation to obtain a contractor licence within six months of enacting the rules, Mukta Security Service has been conducting activities without obtaining a licence.
On 2 December 2020, DIFE issued a letter to Mukta Security Service asking the company to obtain a contractor licence in compliance with labour law. But Mukta Security did not respond to the letter.
According to the case statement, a licence covers all issues related to the employment of workers at an organisation. The government is also deprived of revenue with unlicensed business entities operating. In this case, the owner of Mukta Security Service has committed a criminal offense according to Bangladesh Labour Act 2006.
According to Mukta Security Service sources, the organisation has been providing security guards to various organisations since 2011.
The company pays a monthly salary of Tk9,000 to each guard and collects Tk11,000 against each of them from service recipient organisations. As such, providing security guards, unlicensed Mukta Security Service earns Tk1.12 lakh per month.
Mukta Security Services owner Md Mobiar claims he is doing business with a licence but declined to show it to this correspondent and said he will produce the licence for the authorities if detained by police.