Legal action recommended against Evaly, 9 other e-commerce firms
Published : Tuesday, 14 September, 2021 at 8:46 PM Count : 535
The Ministry of Commerce has recommended to the Ministry of Home Affairs to take action against 10 e-commerce platforms including Evaly on charge of their alleged involvement in irregularities.
Hafizur Rahman, Director General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Cell at the commerce ministry and Head of Digital e-Commerce Cell, disclosed it to journalists following a meeting of the committee at Secretariat on Tuesday afternoon.
He said since different e-commerce platforms including Evaly, e-Orange and Dhamaka have already violated rules, the Ministry of Commerce would not shoulder their responsibilities. "So, the Ministry of Commerce referred them to the law enforcing agencies to take action against them so that they can take action in accordance with law," he said.
Hafizur Rahman said it could not be known where Evaly had laundered money. "A letter has been sent to the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) seeking their cooperation to find out where the Evaly has laundered clients' money. However, Bangladesh Bank has already launched an investigation in this regard," he said.
He further said, "We cannot give any assurance of providing protection to the deprived customers. However, the government will take care of the matter so that the customers and merchants can get their products and arrears.
The interest of the customers is the top priority of the government and it has been under consideration so that culprits get punished.
Regarding appointing a third party audit firm to check the financial statements of e-commerce companies, he said, "We will check whether the law permits us to do so or not. Law permits, we will surely appoint auditors for Evaly and the 9 other online merchants."
He said, "We will also inform the home ministry that these companies have violated the Digital Security Act and the Consumer Rights Act.
"We will take a decision on the next steps after talking with the Commerce Minister," he added.
Hafizur Rahman said the commerce ministry sent a letter to the Bangladesh Bank on August 24 seeking the detailed financial transactions of e-orange, Dhamaka, Qcom, Sirajganjshop, Aladiner Pradeep, Boom Boom, Adian Mart, New.dot.com.bd, and Alesha Mart.
In the letter, the Commerce Ministry sought information on the total liabilities of the companies to customers and merchants and the amount of current and fixed capital of the companies. It also sought to know whether the companies had transferred money elsewhere.
There are allegations against these companies of not delivering goods after taking advance payment from buyers and of not paying the arrears even after purchasing the goods from the merchants.
The Ministry of Commerce's committee comprises representatives from the home ministry, ICT Division, Bangladesh Bank, National Board of Revenue (NBR), Directorate of National Consumers' Right Protection and the Bangladesh Competition Commission.
Evaly, another controversial e-commerce platform, has also been accused of not delivering the products after taking money from customers in advance. Bangladesh Bank has collected information of 10 bank accounts of the company during inspection.
Earlier, in two different submissions to the commerce ministry, Evaly informed that they owe Tk 311 crore to customers and Tk 206 crore to the merchants.
The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the police is also investigating the money laundering allegations against the e-commerce companies.