During their protest, customers demanded immediate action against culprits and demanded to bring back now-suspended officer-in-charge (OC) of Banani police station, Inspector Sheikh Sohel Rana, alleged to be the mastermind behind the Eorange fraud
Customers of troubled e-commerce platform Eorange on Thursday protested in front of the National Press Club for refund of their advance payments and delivery of the products they paid in advance.
They also formed a human chain, holding a banner of the Eorange Victims Central Committee, from 10:30am in the morning.
Later, the protesters blocked the road and after protesting for two hours, they started marching towards Matsya Bhaban intersection, where they staged another sit-in demonstration.
They took position there at 12 noon. After that, the police charged batons after reaching the spot.
During their protest, customers demanded immediate action against culprits and demanded to bring back now-suspended officer-in-charge (OC) of Banani police station, Inspector Sheikh Sohel Rana, alleged to be the mastermind behind the Eorange fraud.
They also demanded that the money that is stuck in payment gateway SSLCommerz be returned immediately.
They further sought a proper investigation for inconsistencies in the E-Commerce Association of Bangladesh (e-CAB) and give legitimacy to all e-commerce companies including Eorange.
A protester Mohammad Iqbal Hossain claimed to Dhaka Tribune: “Even after such a big scam, the Ministry of Commerce says they have no responsibility. It is unacceptable.”
“We want proper action taken against them. Otherwise, we will keep protesting,” he added.
Another customer, Naimul Kabir said: “It was a peaceful protest. Some agitated protestors blocked the road. The police assured us that they would not charge batons. We want the intervention of the commerce ministry.”
The committee convener Afzal Hossain told the media that police have attacked their peaceful program. Several people have been detained.
“We will announce fresh programs. We will reassemble in Shahbag at a later date,” he added.
During the procession, they chanted slogans against police officer Sohel Rana and former Bangladesh cricket captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza, who was once a brand ambassador of the e-commerce outlet.
Eorange customers also chanted slogans against the Ministry of Commerce.
DMP Ramna Division Deputy Commissioner (DC) Sajjadur Rahman told the media that they applied force as the traffic was clogged as a result of the sit-in demonstration.
“We removed them from the road to ensure transportation movement,” he added.
The police official also said that some people have been taken to the police station for interrogation.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday, Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi said the e-commerce sector will be brought under a legal framework through a separate regulatory body and a central complaint cell to monitor the industry.
He made the announcement following a meeting discussing the country's digital e-commerce industry and policy-related decisions pertaining to it.
“There are several issues with the existing laws, including the Digital Security Act and Money Laundering Act, which need to be amended to take action against fraudulent e-commerce platforms,” Munshi said.
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He also highlighted previous legal complexities regarding customer refunds from the liquidation of company assets such as the case of Jubok or Destiny Group.
Back in September 8, a Dhaka court placed one of the owners Masukur Rahman and Chief Operating Officer (COO) Amanullah of the online marketplace Eorange on two-day fresh remand in connection with the case filed for embezzling Tk1,100 crore.
Earlier, the duo and Masukur’s wife Sonia Mehjabin were remanded for five days on August 23 and sent to jail after interrogation. Police also remanded former chief operating officer Md Nazmul Alam Russel for four days.
Sonia Mehjabin and her husband Masukur Rahman were sent to jail upon surrender and seeking bail in the case on August 17.