• Wednesday, Oct 20, 2021
  • Last Update : 12:35 am

Commerce Ministry asks Home Ministry to sue Evaly

  • Published at 05:40 pm July 7th, 2021

In an inspection report submitted to the Commerce Ministry last month, the central bank said that Evaly's total liability was Tk407.18 crore

The Ministry of Commerce has asked the Ministry of Home Affairs to file a case against e-commerce platform Evaly for embezzlement of Tk338 crore owed to merchants, which was taken as an advance from customers.

A letter has been sent to the Home Ministry in this regard.

The Commerce Ministry has also sent a separate letter to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to take relevant legal action against Evaly over the irregularities reported by Bangladesh Bank.

In an inspection report submitted to the Commerce Ministry last month, the central bank said that Evaly's total liabilities were Tk407.18 crore. After receiving Tk213.94 crore in advance from customers and Tk189.85 crore from merchants, the company was expected to have at least Tk403.80 crore in current assets, but it had only Tk65.17 crore, the report stated.

Also Read - E-commerce guidelines go into effect, after years of complaints 

The Commerce Ministry has also asked the Directorate of National Consumer Rights Protection and the Bangladesh Competition Commission to take legal action against Evaly for undelivered goods of which Tk214 crore was taken in advance and unpaid refunds worth Tk190 crore is owed to merchants.

In the letters, the Commerce Ministry stated that Evaly will be able to deliver goods or get the money back to only 16.14% of the customers with the company's current assets. 

The company will not be able to clear its remaining dues owed to customers and merchants and an amount worth Tk338.62 crore could not be traced which has likely been embezzled or illegally withdrawn.

Chief Marketing Officer of Evaly Arif R Hossain could not be reached for a comment on the matter.

Earlier, Bangladesh Bank had also expressed concerns on Evaly's liability to customers and merchants being higher. 

It was also reported that Evaly did not allow an inspection team to enter the company's replica database.

Also Read - Is the jig finally up for Evaly?

Additionally, the Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit (BFIU) of the central bank had sought bank account details of 11 e-commerce merchants, including Alesha Mart, Dhamaka Shop, Sirajganj Shop, Aladiner Prodip, Boom Boom, Adyen Mart, Needs, QCoom, Dalal Plus, EOrange and Bajaj Collection. 

The BFIU sought the information following the move of several banks including Prime Bank, Mutual Trust Bank (MTU), Brac Bank, and Bank Asia suspending card transactions with some of the aforementioned online shops along with Evaly and E-orange.

Instructions have also been sent to the Police Headquarters to take the necessary action as per the commerce ministry's letter, sources said.

The Commerce Ministry has also advised consumers swindled by digital marketplaces to lodge complaints with the consumer rights directorate. 

A policy on digital operation guidelines for the e-commerce sector has also been issued by the ministry which aims to protect the interest of both buyers and sellers and to regulate the e-commerce sector.

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