In July, CID sought travel ban on top officials of Dhamaka
The High Court has asked Bangladesh Bank to take proper measures to repay the sellers’ dues from the owners of e-commerce firm Dhamakashopping.com.
In response to a writ petition, the bench of Justice M Enayetur Rahim and Justice Md Mostafizur Rahman on Sunday issued a rule upon the directors and owners of the company asking why their properties should not be confiscated and a ban should not be imposed on their travel abroad.
Dhamakashopping.com (Invariant Telecom Bangladesh Ltd) Seller Association filed the petition seeking the court’s directives to recover the money, which amounts to more than Tk200 crore.
During the hearing, Advocate Syed Al Asafur Ali Raja stood for 130 members of the association, said a statement signed by its President Jahangir Alam Emon.
The Crime Investigation Department (CID) is investigating a money laundering case filed against the managing director of the e-commerce platform and family members.
Dhamaka Shopping had transferred more than Tk50 crore — received from customers as advance payments — to bank accounts of its officials and laundered the money out of the country.
Additionally, Tk588 crore worth of transactions remains unexplained by the platform, which had been operating without a valid license.
Following the preliminary investigation, in mid-July, the CID sought a travel ban on the top officials of Dhamaka through a letter to the Special Branch.
They had also sent a separate letter to the Election Commission (EC) seeking a ban on the national ID cards (NID) of the platform’s top officials — Deputy Managing Director Nazim Uddin, Office Director (Operations) Safwan Ahmed, Accounts and Finance Chief Aminur Hossain, and CEO Sirajul Islam.
Data by the Directorate of National Consumer Rights Protection (DNCRP) shows that services of the platform have not been satisfactory as Dhamaka had one of the lowest complaint settlement rates at 25.67%.
On September 28, the Rapid Action Battalion arrested Dhamaka Vice President Ibrahim Swapan, Chief Operating Officer Sirajul Islam Rana and another person in a case filed over fraud and embezzlement.
Following the arrests, RAB told reporters that the ecommerce platform was not authorized and had no licence to run its business, adding that it owed Tk180-190 crore to sellers and around another Tk190 crore to customers.
Dhamaka Shopping had so far made transactions worth Tk750 crore through the account of Invariant Telecom Bangladesh Ltd.
Dhamaka followed a "zero inventory model" and "hold money process plan" to embezzle money from its customers and sellers. In April, it moved its money elsewhere and all activities had been suspended since July, according to RAB.
Its office and depot rents as well as employees’ salaries had not been paid since June.