Dhamaka Shopping VP, COO arrested in fraud case
The Rapid Action Battalion has arrested the ecommerce platform Dhamaka’s Vice President Ibrahim Swapan, Chief Operating Officer Sirajul Islam Rana and another person in a case filed over fraud and embezzlement.
They were arrested in separate raids carried out in different parts of the country late on Tuesday night, said RAB Legal and Media Wing Assistant Director ASP ANM Imran Khan.
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.
At a press conference on Wednesday, RAB said that Dhamaka Shopping had so far made transactions worth Tk750 crore through the account of a software development company called Invariant Telecom Bangladesh Ltd.
Also Read- Is Dhamaka another Evaly in the making?
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 have not been paid since June.
Another Evaly in the making?
The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) has been investigating money laundering allegations against Dhamaka Shopping since June 30. It has also filed a Tk116 crore money laundering case against the company.
Businessman Shamim Khan, a resident of Tongi, filed a case with Tongi West police station against 11 people, including Dhamaka Shopping Chairman Dr Mojtaba Ali, on September 23.
The 10 others accused in the case are Dhamaka VP Swapan, COO Rana, MD SMD Jasim Uddin Chishti, Deputy MD Nirodh Baran Roy, Assistant General Manager (Accounts) Safwan Ahmed, Chief Business Officer Devkar Dey Shuvo, deputy managers Amirul Hossain and Asif Chishti, System Category Head Imtiaz Hasan, and Invariant Technology MD Nazim Uddin Asif.
Plaintiff Khan claimed that he had placed orders worth Tk11.5 lakh from dhamakashopping.com on March 20 and that he was promised the products would be delivered within 45 days.
After waiting for a month past the due date, Dhamaka issued two cheques as refund, but they bounced due to insufficient balance in the accounts, according to the case details.
He contacted Dhamaka and its COO Rana over the purchases on August 5, which is when Rana responded with threats, Tongi West police station OC Shah Alam said, quoting the case documents.
Earlier this month, Khan decided to file the case after finding Dhamaka’s office locked when he went back there.
Dhamaka, much like Evaly, has been in hot water after allegations surfaced that it embezzled around Tk589 crore by enticing customers with attractive discounts and engaging advertising.
The company's office in Dhaka's Mohakhali area is currently closed and the customer service centre's phone number is also out of service.
The situation has left thousands of customers, who have yet to receive their ordered products, highly concerned.