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White collar crime: Bangladesh Perspective

Md. Zahid Hossain |
Update: 2014-06-02 04:40:00
White collar crime: Bangladesh Perspective

Every day we observe many sorts of crimes happening around us. These crimes are theft, robbery, murder, snatching, rape, fraud, kidnapping, sedition, invasion, defamation etc. These kinds of crimes are regarded as heinous crimes in our society. 

But apart from these kinds of usual crimes, there are some specific crimes which are more maleficent for the society or state which impacts are not less than the mentioned above. These kinds of crimes apparently don’t seem us terrible or immoral types. 

In most of cases, these kinds of crimes don’t impair us directly but deadly affect our society. These crimes are committed by such kinds of persons who are socially, economically and occupationally well established as well as influential in the society. 

In a word, these types of crimes are different from common types of crimes.

Edwin H. Sutherland, an eminent criminologist in the history of criminology named after these kinds of criminal activities as ‘White Collar Crime’. In Bangla language, its synonym can also be said as the Crime of Gentlemen. 

However, Sutherland in his many writings upheld that how white collar crimes recurrently conduce enormous injury to the ordinary people of the society. He is the first who shown these kinds of activities as crimes and recommended punishment for the concerned criminals. After that, this theory was being familiar around the world.

Conventional common types of crimes can be committed by any class of people. But white collar crimes are mostly committed by dignitary and cannier people. All classes of people don’t get the chance to commit white collar crimes. 

Usually common people cannot make out these types of crimes. Although they can perceive the outcome of these crimes on them but in this case they have nothing to do. Because they are stranded so that they cannot go against the actions of white collar criminal. In this regard, these criminals are reluctant to suppose their activities as crime. 

Now the question is that which crimes can be considered as white collar crime? The upper class people of the society for their interest particularly for their economical and political interest cause to happen such kinds of inhuman and immoral actions which go against the interest of commons and country. 

Again such actions don’t injure to commons and country directly but injure extensive indirectly.

For instance, these crimes are giving false information in advertisement, showing other creation as one’s won name, concealing one’s won actual income for bluffing of tax, making one misunderstand about anyone by giving false information, breaching contract or belief by chance of one’s weakness, depriving workers tactfully from their fair rights, doing embezzlement in the share market, misusing money of trust or fund, stoking goods for price hike, insurance fraud, transferring money from country to abroad for ill intent, disclosing anyone’s secret matter with a view to hampering him or her family.

In case of business, performing no deed in consistent with conferred word or accomplishing lower condition work, compelling anyone to do a job in the name of another job or not returning security money which was taken from the job seekers in the name of giving job, compelling anyone to give bribe as well as inspiring to take bribe, taking money illegally in the name of carrying out government services hastily, taking an illegal action in the name of legal action, misappropriating of progress account, without necessity doing surgical operation on the physique of patients, in service time working in the private hospital and clinic instead of government hospital, giving no proper treatment to the patients of government hospital, prescribing lower quality medicine to the patients for getting percentage from different medicine companies, prescribing excessive drug to the patients by a medical doctor for his personal benefit, issuing false medical certificates, running money obtained illegally through a legitimate business, defrauding insurance companies by exaggerating or fabricating claims, using the internet or computers to defraud others, using someone's credit card to purchase goods illegally, taking money from someone through force or coercion or threats, manipulating or changing a written document for monetary gain.

For misappropriation cash building substandard road and bridge by the engineer, taking money from the opponent party for torturing anyone physically in the police remand by the corrupted police men, taking a big amount of bribe from the criminal party not to torture any identified criminal in the police remand, developing a connection with the criminal groups by the police men for illegal income, showing arrest to an innocent person with the section 54 by the pressure of influential person and after that intentionally accused him in case filed in connection with different crimes, harassing and behaving dishonestly by a lawyer to his client, trafficking information to the opponent party or opponent lawyer of a client, resorting yellow journalism of a journalist for name and fame, extortion in the name of news publishing etc.                 

Are you thinking that what are the remedies or punishments for such kinds of criminal behavior? 

In case of white collar crimes there are various types of punishments prescribed in different laws or Acts. It depends largely on the existing legal system of a country. 

That means which kind of crime is considered as white collar crime or which kind of crime is not considered as white collar crime is totally dependent on existing laws of the respective country. 

There are many such kinds of white collar crimes constantly happening around us in which we are more or less becoming sufferers. Some crimes listed above are found remediable in various laws but we hardly get the advantages of these remedies. 

Since these crimes are mostly committed by the dignitary and influential persons of the society so the government organizations is not seen to willingly take proper and immediate action against them. 

After seeking protection of law against them it is hardly possible to stand against them. Among elites and dominant persons those who are involved with these crimes in most of cases they are able to elude trail. 

Although they commit crimes but they are not identified as criminals for their socioeconomic and highly regarded condition in the society. Even they haven’t kept any evidence of their crimes. So most of the times, they remain beyond the tamed of law.

For instant to be said that theft, robbery, murder, rape etc types of crimes are unpardonable crimes recognized in our society. 

But when hundreds of people died in the garment and industrial factories for the negligence of some dignitary or influential persons then it is not considered as such heinous crimes than the mentioned above. But year after year no trial has been executed or seen for such kinds of crimes.

In fact, white collar criminals don’t want to make the victim realize that victim have been really hampered by their activities. Moreover, they think that no one will be so much hampered by their activities. 

Even though a few people react against their activities but they don’t pay any heed in their reaction. Particularly they take the chance of other persons’ carelessness. In the society their activities are burked to consider it as little. But in real experience, it is seen that how the white collar criminals are more recidivists than the common type of criminals! 

Further, for the lack of proper awareness among the people about law regarding white collar crime, public demand is not too forceful against the white collar criminals. 

These criminals are publicly very much respectful to the law of the country. But in practical their attitude is looking like a dacoit in their professional interest. Lack of proper punishment, they commit crimes again and again. 

The situation may seem that some acts are legislated in the state to save the influential class and on the other hand to exploit the weaker class.           

The Author is a Student of Law of Chittagong University & Young Human Rights Activist in Chittagong. [email protected]

BDST: 1323 HRS, JUN 02,2014

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