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Evaly owes over Tk 1,000 crore to customers, suppliers: RAB

Published : Saturday, 18 September, 2021 at 12:00 AM  Count : 680

Notorious e-commerce site Evaly's CEO Mohammad Rassel told the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) that his company is indebted to consumers and suppliers more than Tk1,000 crore.
Earlier, he informed commerce ministry that his company owed Tk 543 crore to its suppliers and customers.
RAB Commander Khandaker Al Moin, in a press briefing on Friday said, "According to a report, Evaly's liabilities stood to Tk  403 crore till 28 February, the current wealth was Tk 65 crore, the amount of advanced payment taken from customers was Tk214 crore, and dues to different customers and companies was Tk190 crore.  
The arrestees were unable to provide a satisfactory response when asked about a large amount of liabilities owed to various
agencies. During the interrogation, it was also revealed that the company had other liabilities. The company's total liabilities exceed Tk1, 000 crore.
The company has been counting loss since its inception, and it has never saw profit. Customers' money was used to recoup all expenses and costs. As a result, liabilities began to rise gradually."
"Recent requests of Rassel to extend time for refunding to customers and paying the vendors showing different reasons were just techniques to delay as he had a plan to declare himself as bankrupt after failing to repay the debt," the RAB spokesperson said.
Rassel had also a plan to enter the share market after three years' operation of his company.
During inquiries, Rassel and his wife Nasrin informed RAB that the head office and customer care of Evaly were set up in Dhanmondi in the rented space. Similarly, two warehouses were set up at Amin Bazar and Savar in the rented space. The company at one stage had about 2,000 management staff and 1,700 temporary employees. Due to collapse in business, the number of staffs has currently reduced to 1300. The employees were once paid a total salary of around Tk5 crore monthly, which now stands at Tk1.5 crore. Salaries of many employees remain overdue from June. The CEO and MD used to take a monthly salary of Tk5 lakh. They used two expensive private cars (Range Rover and Audi) at the expense of the company. Besides, the company has about 25-30 vehicles.
Rassel has other assets in Savar, including land worth crores of Tk. The arrestees also said that there are around Tk30 lakh in the bank account of Evaly. There are also around Tk30-35 crore of customers' money in several payment gateways.
RAB arrested Mohammad Rassel and his wife, also the chairman of the cmpany, on Thursday from their Mohammadpur residence in the capital in a case filed over allegations of embezzling customers' money. Later, they were taken to RAB headquarters.
A customer named Arif Baker had filed the case against them with Gulshan Police Station for not delivering him products despite taking advance payment.
 In the meantime, a Dhaka court asked police to submit the investigation report of the case by 16 October.
Earlier, fraud cases were filed against them with Sirajganj court, according to the Police Bureau of Investigation.
Evaly's controversial business strategy surfaced following a central bank inspection report on the e-commerce firm.
However, the detention of the Evaly owners, however, has given rise to questions about the fate of its customers and merchants and whether they will get their money back.
Earlier, on 19 July, the commerce ministry sent a letter to Evaly, asking it to explain how it would clear its current liabilities to customers and merchants.
Later, in two different submissions to the ministry, Evaly disclosed that it owes Tk311 crore to customers and Tk206 crore to the merchants.
The commerce secretary then suggested they would have to go to court to pay off Evaly's debts from the money in its bank accounts or by selling its current assets.

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