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Dhaka Tribune

‘Rassel needs to be released from jail to determine Evaly’s liability’

Although Rassel secured bail in nine embezzlement cases, he is yet to be freed as he has other cases pending

Update : 08 Oct 2022, 10:07 PM

According to Evaly co-founder Shamima Nasrin, the managing director of the controversial e-commerce platform Evaly, Mohammad Rassel, must be released from prison in order to determine the full amount due by the company.

Although it depends much on the server's recovery, which will take time, it is possible to confirm our liabilities, she added on Thursday.

She was speaking at the infamous platform's first-ever press conference, which was conducted only a few weeks after the five-member board of directors for Evaly that had been established by the High Court resigned.

The board resigned after turning in an audit report to the court and its own report on the company on September 21, advising an investigation on money laundering, as huge amounts of cash from the platform's accounts could not be traced.

According to the HC-appointed board, the huge sums of cash that the platform withdrew from the company accounts through banks, almost on a daily basis,  could not be traced, which might have been laundered.

However, denying any allegations of money laundering, Nasrin claimed access to the servers of the platform can affirm Evaly’s liabilities but, without Rassel, Amazon will not give access to the server, she further said.

Although Rassel secured bail in nine embezzlement cases, he is yet to be freed as he has other cases pending.

She also said that, following a raid last year, the Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) did not lock up Evaly's headquarters, which led to looting and for which registers and documents could not be provided to an audit team.

"On the day that Rab arrested us at our house, another team of Rab entered the headquarters of Evaly that afternoon and kicked out all the officers and employees without giving any time. The RAB team stayed for some time and left without locking the doors or anyone in charge of the keys," she said.

With the premises being left unguarded and open for several days, office furniture, computers, equipment including laptops and closed-circuit cameras as well as documents and registers were looted, according to Evaly’s top brass.

According to Nasrin, the incident has also been mentioned by the court-appointed board in their report, and all transactions and expenditure accounts were properly maintained in the office prior to that.

However, auditors earlier found that Evaly was accountable for more than Tk6,000 crore-worth transactions but had "very poor, unreliable, unorganized, incomplete books and records".

Neither the list of customers who paid advances to the company could be obtained nor the list of merchants.

In April, Nasrin walked out of jail on bail after her arrest on September 16 last year by Rab along with Rassel in a case filed by a customer over an undelivered order.

During the press conference, Nasrin also said Evaly wants to operate its business without any interruptions for a year to recoup investments and pay dues of customers and merchants.

"We think that if we can do business continuously for the next one year, it will be possible to pay off all the debts from the first investment," she claimed.

According to sources at Evaly, the platform wants to start operations from the second half of October, with it already running promotions on social media.

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