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Bangladesh Commerce Ministry writes to central bank seeking bank statement of 9 e-commerce firms

Bangladesh's Ministry of Commerce has sent a letter to the central bank seeking information and financial details of bank transactions of 9 digital commerce companies including e-Orange, Alesha Mart and Dhamaka — most of them embroiled in money embezzlement allegations.

Dhaka — Bangladesh Ministry of Commerce has sent a letter to the central bank seeking information and financial details of bank transactions of 9 digital commerce companies including e-Orange, Alesha Mart and Dhamaka — most of them embroiled in money embezzlement allegations.

The letter was sent to Bangladesh Bank Governor Fazle Kabir on Tuesday. The companies are Alesha Mart, E-Orange, Dhamaka, Sirajganj Shop, Aladdin’s Lamp, Qcoom, Boom Boom, Adian Mart, and Needs.com.bd.

A letter from the Commerce Ministry’s Central Digital Commerce Cell said: “9 digital commerce companies are being accused of charging customers in advance. At the same time, there are allegations from merchants that they do not pay for the product.”

In order to determine the next course of action, it is necessary to know the latest financial condition of the companies, the amount of total liabilities to the buyers and merchants as well as the amount of current and fixed capital of the companies.

The letter also said that it was necessary to know whether the institutions had withdrawn any money. However, the Commerce Ministry did not set a deadline for the central bank to provide the information.

Earlier, Bangladesh Bank had prepared a report on Evaly in June following a letter from the Commerce Ministry. The central bank said there was six times more debt than Evaly’s assets.

According to the report, the total liability of Evaly is Tk407 crore. The company has taken Tk214 crore in advance from customers, and the remaining Tk190 crore from merchants.

As per normal rules, the company should have at least Tk404 crore in working assets. But the assets have only Tk65 crore. In addition, till March 14, Evaly did not deliver the product with advance Tk214 crore from the customer and merchants.

The company also owes Tk190 crore to merchants. All in all, there was no trace of Tk339 crore in advance taken by Evaly from customers and merchants.

Meanwhile, a case has been filed against the owner of e-Orange for embezzling Tk 11 billion last August for not returning the product or money even with the advance money.

A customer Taherul Islam filed the case with Gulshan police station. Among the accused in the case are Sonia Mehjabin, the original owner of E-Orange, and her husband Masukur Rahman, and Amanullah Chowdhury, the chief operating officer.

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