Rassel was detained along with his wife on Thursday
A group of merchants and customers of the e-commerce platform Evaly on Friday demanded unconditional release of Mohammad Rassel, chief executive officer (CEO) of the company.
They held a human chain program in the capital’s Shahbagh area in the afternoon and chanted slogans.
During the protest, they alleged that the case filed against Rassel was meant to harass him and destroy the e-commerce sector of Bangladesh.
Rassel and his wife were detained on Thursday by the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) following a raid at their flat in Dhaka’s Mohammadpur.
The raid came hours after one Arif Baker brought charges of fraud and issuance of death threats against Rassel and Nasrin in a case filed with Gulshan police station in the morning.
On Friday, a Dhaka court granted police three days to interrogate Rassel and his wife Nasrin in custody.
According to the case details, the plaintiff saw Evaly’s advertisement in May this year, following which he placed orders worth Tk3,10,000 on the ecommerce site.
Rassel and Nasrin were first sued over fraud and harassment on August 25, but complaints against the ecommerce platform had been making the rounds on social media long before.
According to Evaly, the company has Tk543 crore in liabilities — much higher than the amount found by an initial probe of Bangladesh Bank.
Of this, it owes Tk311 crore to customers and Tk206 crore to merchants.
Following the central bank’s report, the Commerce Ministry asked the Home Ministry to file a case against Evaly over the alleged embezzlement of Tk338 crore taken as advance from customers.
Several banks, including Brac Bank, Bank Asia, Dhaka Bank, City Bank, Mutual Trust Bank and Prime Bank have already suspended transactions with Evaly.
According to Rassel, who repeatedly took to social media to garner support, most of the liabilities had been incurred due to business development and promotional expenses.
However, former employees of the company said Evaly had spent money lavishly on corporate gifts and tours.
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has also written to several government organizations seeking documents on Evaly.
Earlier, a Dhaka court also banned Rassel and Nasrin from travelling abroad amid an ongoing probe into charges of embezzlement.