An alleged victim of a CW-1 scam who was recruited in Bangladesh said he was told to lie at the U.S. Embassy in their country about paying a recruitment fee.
Taking the witness stand on Friday in the ongoing jury trial in federal court, Abu Bakkar Beg testified how he was recruited in Bangladesh.
The 25-year-old Beg said that, while he was in Bangladesh, he met one of the five defendants, Md. Rafiqul Islam, who told him that his brother, defendant Muksedur Rahman, is in America and that if he wants to go there, he just has to pay 15 lakh takas.
Taka is the currency in Bangladesh. One lakh is equivalent to 100,000 takas (about $1,219). One U.S. dollar is equivalent to 82 takas.
Responding to questions by assistant U.S. attorney Eric O’Malley, Beg said that Islam told him that he would be given a hotel job on Saipan.
Aside from brothers Islam and Rahman, the others on trial are TBK Auto Cares owner David Trung Quoc Phan; Phan’s fiancée, Analyn Nunez; and Rahman’s wife, Shahinur Akter.
A sixth defendant, Zeaur Rahman Dalu, pleaded guilty and testified against his co-defendants.
Beg said he paid Islam money. When shown a check, he identified it as his mother’s National Bank Limited check in the amount of 2 lakh takas that was a portion of the payment he made to Islam.
Beg said that Islam took the money and his passport and told him it would take a total of 14 lakh takas for him to come and work on Saipan.
As he did not have that amount, Beg said he borrowed money from relatives and mortgaged the family’s land, paying the amount in three installments.
He also went through welding training for about two months in Bangladesh after being told to learn.
Beg said that Rahman called him in Bangladesh in 2015 to just wait.
He said his contract was to work for a year for TBK Auto Cares for a $6.05 an hour.
Beg said that Islam told him not to mention at the U.S. Embassy that he paid to come to Saipan.
Beg will continue his testimony today, Tuesday, at 8am.
U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington Senior U.S. District Judge John C. Coughenour is presiding over the trial in the U.S. District Court for the NMI.
According to the indictment, between May 2015 and Aug. 15, 2016, Rahman, Islam, Phan, and others recruited and hired Beg for nonexistent work.