Court directs PBI to investigate
Evaly Managing Director Mohammad Rassel and his wife Shamima Nasrin, chairman of the e-commerce platform, have been sued for fraud and harassment.
The plaintiff Mohammad Raj lodged the case with the court of Senior Judicial Magistrate Jasmine Ara on Wednesday, according to media reports.
Taking the case into cognizance in light of Raj’s statement and relevant documents, the court has directed the Police Bureau of Investigation (PBI) to submit a report after investigating the allegations, said the plaintiff’s counsel Advocate Manjurul Islam Sohag.
Mohammad Raj said in his statement that he has yet to receive the products he ordered three months ago, which went against the company’s own policy of delivering all products within 45 working days.
According to the case statement, on May 4 this year, the plaintiff ordered five products from Evaly and paid a total of Tk50,737 in advance.
Previously, the Commerce Ministry had asked consumers to file cases with the Directorate of National Consumer Rights Protection (DNCRP) who have not been issued refunds.
A nine-member inter-ministerial committee, headed by Commerce Secretary Tapan Kanti Ghosh and representatives from the Home Ministry, ICT Division, Bangladesh Bank, National Board of Revenue (NBR), DNCRP, and the Bangladesh Competition Commission, took the decision to protect consumers and the e-commerce sector.
In a response to the queries regarding Evaly’s liabilities last Thursday, the company had shared a figure amounting to Tk543 crore of owed liabilities — much higher than the amount found by an initial probe of Bangladesh Bank.
Following the central bank’s earlier report, the Ministry of Commerce asked the Ministry of Home Affairs to file a case against Evaly over the alleged embezzlement of Tk338 crore taken as an advance from customers.
Several banks, including Brac Bank, Bank Asia, Dhaka Bank, City Bank, Mutual Trust Bank, and Prime Bank have already suspended their transactions with Evaly.
Mobile financial service bKash had suspended transactions with the platform initially, but it recently resumed its services for the platform.
The Commerce Ministry also wrote to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to initiate relevant legal actions against the online marketplace over the reported irregularities.
The ministry also issued operational guidelines for the e-commerce sector in response to the growing impact of digital platforms on the current economic progress of the country and the challenges posed by them.
In response, Evaly said it would abide by the new guidelines and introduced its T10 campaign centered on delivering products within 10 days.
However, consumers again took to social media recently, alleging that the platform has not been abiding by the new policies and the regulatory framework.