Singapore

Some Bangladeshi workers here fear for their investments

About 20 of them invested $200,000 but firm has stopped responding to them

Some Bangladeshi workers in Singapore are fearing for their investments as the company they entrusted their money to has stopped responding to them.

Around 20 of them said they had invested about $200,000 in a variety of ventures - ranging from a cooperative later revealed to be unregistered, to a property development called Singapore City in Dhaka - managed by a company called Evershine Group. The investments matured late last year, but they claim that none of them has received the promised payouts.

Payments were made to a local office located in a shophouse in Little India, above a restaurant that they said is run by the boss of Evershine Group.

Mr Nayeem, 34, a gardener who goes by one name, said: "I trusted (the boss) with my money (and)... wanted to move to (Bangladeshi capital) Dhaka."

The investors had also put money in a co-op called Evershine Multipurpose Co-operative Society, which is believed to be illegal. It is not listed on the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth website.

The investors had each paid between $600 and $2,400 a month for those properties, on top of an initial $2,400 paid to the co-op. Some were promised that their capital would double after two years.

A check with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority showed that Evershine Group was registered here in 2011 before it became Evershine Engineering Construction three years later.

RENAMED

It has since been renamed, and its new owners said they were not involved in the investment schemes.

The investors said they have been unable to reach Evershine Group's boss in recent weeks.

Some have complained to the local authorities but were told that it is not illegal in Singapore to promote the sale of foreign properties.

Mr Nayeem said: "Some (investors) got their money back (from thes boss) because they are fierce."

A former Evershine Group director, who declined to be named, said he used to collect instalments from workers, and he would use the cash to meet the demands for refunds.

"(The owner) gives me about $3,500 every Sunday and asks me to sit in his office to return people's money. I'd give them some but not all of the amount they ask for.When some give me their monthly payments, I would use that to refund others."

Calls to the company's boss have gone unanswered. When The Straits Times visited his restaurant, the staff said he has not been to work for a while.

Property