MTFE scam: DU teacher blamed after teachers-students defrauded

Swarup Hossain

The name of a teacher of Dhaka University appeared in Metaverse Foreign Exchange (MTFE) Group Inc. scam. He motivated several teachers, officials of DU and some students of his department to invest in a mobile app named MTFE trade. Now the investors defrauded around Tk 2 million.

The teacher in concern is named Swarup Hossain. He is a professor of music department in the university.

An investigation by Prothom Alo revealed Swarup Hossain’s involvement with exchange of illegal crypto currencies through the MTFE app. The teacher, however, claimed he has ‘no knowledge at all about MTFE’.

MTFE is an online forex brokerage platform for the trading of stock, dollar and crypto currencies based in Canada and Dubai. The platform also follows the Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) model. The users can open an account on the app just by registering with a mobile phone number. MTFE has defrauded a large amount of money from Bangladeshi users in recent times.

MLM business and crypto currency trade are illegal in Bangladesh. The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of police on 25 August sought information about the fraudulence of MTFE in a press release sent to the media.

This correspondent talked to at least three persons who were defrauded by investing in MTFE app through the DU teacher Swarup Hossain. One of them said, “Swarup Hossain opened an account with the MTFE app himself. He would every day show the return he is receiving in dollars from the MTFE. Later we opened MTFE accounts through him two and half months ago and invested money on the platform.”

He said three students of the music department invested Tk 26,000 each. After 15 days, their MTFE virtual account showed minus account balance.

“Later we came to know from Swarup Hossain that we’ve been defrauded,” the victim added.

The authorities threaten to take legal action and other punitive measures if the minus amount shown on the app is not paid. Later we deleted the app from our mobile phones. So around 25-30 investors have lost investment of around 18-20 lac (Tk 1.8- 2 million) let alone getting back any return.”

Another victim claimed Swarup Hossain repeatedly insisted to them that the MTFE is approved by Bangladesh Bank. They made the investment keeping trust in the DU teacher. Swarup Hossain now does not say anything on returning the money of the investors.

Another victim told Prothom Alo, “Swarup Hossain would collect the investment from us through a fresh graduate of the music department. Later he would exchange taka to dollars through a bank official of his acquaintance and send the fund to our MTFE accounts.”

Swarup Hossain claimed he does not have any connection with illegal trading through the MTFE app.

“I don’t have any knowledge at all about any such app. I’m not involved with any such platform,” he told Prothom Alo.

But the persons who had opened MTFE accounts by Swarup Hossain had a Whatsapp group named ‘MTFE Taal Group’. Swarup was the admin of that chat group. He, however, left the group towards the middle of August.

Prothom Alo has the screenshot of conversation among the members of the group. Screenshots of Swarup Hossain’s conversations with the members who joined MTFE through him are also in possession of Prothom Alo.

An investor on condition of anonymity told Prothom Alo on Saturday night that Swarup Hossain called the investor students on Saturday after the MTFE scam matter came to light. He tried to reach some form of settlement with them.