Affected investors of Firstlead Securities, which allegedly embezzled Tk 100 million of its clients’ funds, demanded their money back as early as possible.
Mohammad Ayub Khan, one of the investors of Firstlead Securities, who invested around Tk 5.0 million there, placed the demand on behalf of affected investors at a press briefing.
Some 20 affected investors of the brokerage firm attended the briefing held at the auditorium of Capital Market Journalists’ Forum in Dhaka on Tuesday.
Firstlead Securities, a brokerage firm of the Chittagong Stock Exchange (CSE), defrauded its clients by illegally using duplicate software and providing fake information on their investment status.
After receiving allegations of embezzling its clients’ money, the Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC) suspended its operation from August 18, 2021.
Despite the securities regulator suspending its operation, the 122th brokerage firm of the CSE continued to ‘cheat’ investors by ‘embezzling’ shares from clients’ portfolios, Mr Khan claimed in a written statement at the press briefing.
He said the brokerage firm illegally used two back-office accounting software to provide misleading information to its clients.
Under these circumstances, the investors did not have any way to know the real facts (regarding their shares), and were easily deceived by the brokerage house.
Mr Khan alleged that the chairman and managing director of Firstlead Securities had embezzled around Tk 100 million by selling all the shares of about 30 of its clients at Motijheel branch in Dhaka.
“We never received any share sell-related information via SMS or mail. Because of that, the clients did not understand their fraud,” he said.
Later they came to know that the securities regulator has suspended trading of Firstlead Securities.
Mr Khan claimed even though the brokerage house was closed, it used to trade shares using duplicate software. On January 20, this year he applied for the transfer of shares through the chief regulatory officer of CSE.
But the CSE did not transfer any shares although five months have passed.
“We contacted the Central Depository Bangladesh Ltd (CDBL) and found that we do not have any shares,” he alleged.
The investors also complained to the BSEC chairman, but they have yet to get any response, he said.
“We are in a dire financial crisis. Now we demand the Prime Minister and the BSEC Chairman to get our money and share back as soon as possible,” he said.
Mohammad Ali, on behalf of his wife Kharun Nahar, claimed his wife invested around Tk 3.50 million through Firstlead Securities by selling land in Keranigonj, but she lost all of her money.
“We lost all of the money here. Now we are having a difficult time running the family now,” he said.
Krishna Roy, a private job holder said, “I have invested about Tk 3.0 million here. Now I have lost everything and become helpless”.
They urged the BSEC Chairman Prof. Shibli Rubayat-Ul-Islam to bring the responsible persons to justice and return the clients’ money and shares as soon as possible.
Mohammad Shahidullah, Kamruzzaman, Saiful Islam, Mohammad Aynur, Mohammad Ali Chokdar, also present, among other affected investors at the press briefing.