The arrest is part of the government’s crackdown on e-commerce sites facing various allegations
Police got the owner of controversial e-commerce shop Qcoom, Ripon Mia, on a two-day remand in a case filed under the Digital Security Act case following his arrest on Monday.
Ripon stands accused of embezzling Tk250 crore of customers’ funds paid in advance through his e-commerce platform.
Dhaka Metropolitan Magistrate Asheq Imam ordered the remand after DB police Sub-Inspector Abdul Malek, also the investigating officer of the case, produced him before the court seeking 10 days to grill him in custody.
The court also scrapped a bail plea filed on Ripon’s behalf by his counsel Iqbal Hossain.
The Detective Branch (DB) of Dhaka Metropolitan Police arrested Ripon from the capital’s Motijheel area in the morning after a customer filed a case with Paltan model police station against the Qcoom owner and others.
The operation was conducted by Motijheel Zonal Additional Deputy Commissioner Atiqul Islam under the supervision of DB Motijheel Division Deputy Commissioner Rifat Rahman Shamim.
During initial questioning, Ripon confessed to not delivering goods worth around Tk250 crore taken from customers in advance, DB chief and DMP Additional Commissioner AKM Hafiz Akter told reporters during a media call at the DMP media centre.
People took to online shopping during the movement restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The e-commerce platforms like Qcoom took the advantage.
"They declared different offers and discounts, luring unsuspecting customers to pay huge money in advance to get products at comparatively low price," he said.
Bangladesh Bank also froze Tk397 crore that Qcoom collected from people in advance for motorcycles.
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Over a dozen firms under scanner
Earlier, the central bank asked for audits into several e-commerce platforms including Qcoom, directing banks and payment gateways to not transfer money directly into the accounts of the platform.
The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) has also prepared a list of e-commerce companies that reportedly swindled large sums of money from customers in the name of selling products, online investments and e-loans on e-commerce platforms and social media.
According to media reports, the suspected e-commerce sites are Evaly, ringID, Eorange, Dhamaka Shopping, Shirajganj Shop, Qcoom, Alesha Mart, Adyan Mart, Dalal Plus, SPC World Express, Aladin's Prodip, Boom Boom, Priyoshop, 24tkt, Needs, Nirapod Shop, Play & Win, Daraz, Tiktiki, Shop Up e-loans, Shadhin, Uthao Cash, RapidCash- Quick Online eLoans App, Shahoj Life & lively, e-Shop India and BD Like.
Among these companies, Evaly CEO Mohammad Rassel and his wife Shamima Nasrin have been arrested on allegations of embezzlement and fraud.
Law enforcers also arrested ring-ID Director Saiful Islam on charges of misappropriating Tk200 crore in just three months by alluring people in its investment (Ponzi) scheme promising online income.
E-commerce platform e-orange.shop owner Sonia Mehzabin, her husband Masukur Rahman and Chief Operating Officer Aman Ullah are also currently behind bars for embezzling Tk1,100 crore from consumers.
On the other hand, Ehsan Group owner Ragib Hasan and his brothers have been arrested on charges of misappropriating Tk17,000 crore.