According to Trading Economics global macro models and analysts' expectations, the number of unemployed people in Bangladesh is projected to trend at around 3.06 million in 2021 and 3.11 million in 2022.
Given this sizable population desperately looking for jobs, fraudsters are having a field day in luring unemployed youths in the country in various scams, by placing lucrative job advertisements on the capital's sidewalks, walls, and buses, that actually do not exist or serve as a front to extort from these jobseekers.
These fraudsters not only target university and college students but simple-minded people who move to cities from villages seeking a livelihood.
The students are trapped by such predatory practices through persuasive adverts about part-time jobs, as well as study opportunities. Once they are lured in, they are harassed and forced to spend money on various schemes: unexplained fees, bribes to secure jobs, MLM schemes, etc.
These fraudsters usually hire job seekers to various positions, including office assistants, interns, etc. Then they collect money from them in the name of recruitment fees, and after a time when job seekers understand that they are being cheated, they are often subjected to various forms of threats and even torture.
Simple-minded, unemployed youths from the villages are losing money and time by falling into their traps. Sadly, most of these unemployed youth break down mentally after being deceived. The biggest deception takes place when it comes to jobs as security guards and garment factory workers.
Cases relating to fraud falls under the Sections 415 and 416 of the Bangladesh Penal Code, 1860 and the rules on the punishment of fraud are set out in Sections 417, 418, 419 and 420 respectively. The punishment for such deception may be up to three months or seven years of imprisonment or fine, or both.
Earlier, these fraud cases could usually be filed with the police station or directly to court. They could also have been filed in the Chief Judicial Magistrate court or the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate's court in the metropolis areas. However, at present, the police station is not taking any case of fraud and forgery. The Metropolitan Sessions Court is also not handling these cases.
This situation has arisen as the government amended the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Act. On November 20, 2013, various such offences, including fraud, bribery, and land forgery, were included in the ACC Act, 2004. The Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2012, has been included in the ACC Act as well, and all those crimes have come under the ACC.
The ACC now has to deal with all forms of fraud, those that involve Tk500, as well as those that involve Tk500 crore.
Legal complications have also increased and the victims are in trouble. As a result of amending the law, cases are transferred from the Magistrate's Court to the Sessions Judge's Court. That is why the number of cases in the Sessions Judge Court is increasing, and the speedy delivery of justice is also being severely hampered.
Job fraud is widespread in our country. Therefore, when someone talks about joining a job during or after a job interview in any organisation, the candidate should never enter the job in a hurry. It is vital to have proper proof of employment in any job, such as a contract.
If someone cheats for any reason or cheats in the name of a job, they can take legal action. They can file a fraud case against the responsible person or the concerned organisation only if they keep the evidence. So if someone wants to take recourse to the law, they have to have written proof, enough evidence like a receipt of all these things. Therefore, it is essential to preserve these documents.
Finally, to take appropriate action against these fraudsters, our country's legal system should be modified so that the people of Bangladesh can quickly get legal relief from these problems.
Apurba Mogumder is L.L.B student in his 6th semester at the North-South University
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of The Business Standard.