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Bangladesh govt to file lawsuit againts e-commerce firm Evaly

The Ministry of Home Affairs has sent a letter to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to take necessary legal action including a lawsuit against Evaly, a widely chatted and the criticized e-commerce company in Bangladesh.

Dhaka — The Ministry of Home Affairs has sent a letter to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to take necessary legal action including a lawsuit against Evaly, a widely chatted and the criticized e-commerce company in Bangladesh.

Letters have also been sent to the Department of Consumer Protection and the Bangladesh Competition Commission to take action as per the rules. The letters were sent separately from the WTO cell of the Commerce Ministry on July 4.

Hafizur Rahman, director general (additional secretary) of the WTO cell of the commerce ministry, on Wednesday confirmed the fact that he had written to the concerned regulatory bodies to take legal action against Evaly.

In a letter to the Home Ministry against Evaly, the Commerce Ministry said it feared embezzling or illegally removing the 338 crore taka Evaly taken in advance from customers and merchants.

In this situation, the Ministry of Commerce has recommended filing a case with the Ministry of Home Affairs as a remedy.

The Commerce Ministry has sent a letter to the ACC requesting the ACC to take legal action against Evaly for further investigation into whether embezzlement of money from customers and huge arrears to merchants or money laundering or any other financial irregularities.

A letter from the Commerce Ministry to the Department of Consumer Protection directed that legal action be taken to protect the rights of consumers who have not yet received the product in advance and are not getting a refund.

The Commerce Ministry has also sent a letter to the Bangladesh Competition Commission instructing them to take action as per the rules.

The letter asked the Department of Consumer Protection and the Bangladesh Competition Commission to take 214 crore takas in advance from the customers and investigate the non-delivery of goods and refund of 190 crore taka owed to the merchants as soon as possible.

In this regard, Hafizur Rahman, Director General (Additional Secretary) of the WTO Cell of the Ministry of Commerce, said on Wednesday that the accused e-commerce company Evaly has already been asked to take the necessary steps to repay the customer’s dues.

At the same time, recommendations have been made to the concerned ministries, agencies and institutions for further investigation and filing of irregularities found in the investigation of Bangladesh Bank.

“Action has been taken against Evaly,” he said. ‘The advance money that the company has taken from the customers and merchants has to be paid. Hopefully, the interests of the customers will be protected through this.’

Hafizur Rahman said the government wants the fast-growing e-commerce sector to be more expanded and sustainable. At the same time, the safety of the consumer should be ensured.

To this end, the Ministry of Commerce has already issued the E-Commerce Sector Management Guidelines-2021. Not only Evaly, but the government will also take the same action against other organizations if they do the same, he noted.

In a letter to the Home Ministry, the ACC, the Consumer Rights and Competition Commission, the Commerce Ministry said that only 16.14% of customers would be able to deliver or refund goods with Evaly.com’s current assets. It is not possible for the company to pay the dues of the remaining customers and merchants.

Moreover, no trace of 338.62 crore taka taken from customers and merchants has been found.

 It is further mentioned in the letter that the inspection report of Bangladesh Bank has stated that the total liability of Evaly is 407.18 crore taka. 213.94 crore taka in advance from customers and 189.85 crore taka from merchants.

After that, the company was supposed to have at least 403.80 crore taka in current assets, but it has only 65.17 crore taka.

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