Staff Correspondent: E-orange sued seven of its vendors on charges of Tk 6.63 billion embezzlement, but the suppliers have pointed the finger back at the online marketplace mired in allegations of fraud.
If the accounts they gave to police are correct, Eorange itself owes them money.
Harunor Rashid, a joint commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police’s Detective Branch that is investigating the case filed by Eorange, said the company will be charged in court instead if the allegations brought by the vendors are true.
Eorange became popular among a section of customers after offering huge discounts on motorcycles.
Its Chief Operating Officer Aman Ullah Chowdhury filed the case against the vendors on Aug 11 with Tejgaon Police amid protests by customers who did not get the products they had ordered.
Aman Ullah and two owners of Eorange are currently behind bars in a case filed by the customers who brought charges of Tk 11 billion embezzlement.
In the case filed by Aman Ullah, former COO of Eorange Nazmul Alam Russel, his wife Faria Subha, father Khalilur Rahman, brother Monjurul Alam Parvez and sister Shahnaz Parveen Keya were also accused.
Russel used to bring motorcycles and other goods to Eorange through his family organisation RP Enterprise. The police
quizzed Russel and his father Khalilur in custody after arresting them in the case.
The six other vendors accused in the case are – Sultan Uddin, owner of Mohammadpur showroom of Bajaj Collection, Mahadi Hasan, owner of All Zone, a motorcycle sales organisation in Tejgaon, Partha Pratim Roy, owner of Bosila’s motorcycle shop Bike Valley, Mahadi Abid, supplier of TVS motorcycles in Tejgaon, Tanveer Hasan and Abrar Md Fahim.
According to the case dossier, Eorange signed a contract to supply 36,281 motorcycles of different brands from the seven vendors between Jan 1 and Jan 30. The suppliers were paid Tk 6.63 billion for the motorcycles through City Bank and BRAC Bank.
Eorange alleged despite clearing payment, they did not receive purchase receipts or delivery invoice of the motorcycles. In the meantime, Russel gave the company a cheque of Tk 40.1 million.
The company withdrew Tk 3.5 million using the cheque while Russel, along with his family members and the vendors, opened up another e-commerce firm called Go-Buy, the case documents said.
Plaintiff Aman Ullah said he was appointed COO of the firm in July, taking over the duties from Russel, who carried out the transactions with the vendors when he was in the post.
The police said according to the accounts provided by the vendors, the company owes money to the suppliers. These accounts show that the vendors put supplies on hold since mid-March.
Statements from City Bank and BRAC Bank revealed that Eorange transferred Tk 4.6 million to RP Enterprise, which is registered with the name of Russel’s wife.
Accounts provided to the police by Russel show that RP Enterprise delivered goods worth Tk 4.2 million against the transferred money. Later, Eorange received another Tk 3.5 million from Russel through 12 cheques, which means Eorange owes Russel Tk 3.1 million.
Between Jan 1 and Jul 23, a total of Tk 6.2 million was withdrawn from the City Bank account and the latest balance was Tk 14.7 million. Between Jan 1 and Jun 30, Eorange withdrew Tk 3.88 billion from the BRAC Bank account while Tk 3.91 billion was deposited. Bank accounts state that a portion of the money was spent in paying up vendors, employees’ salaries and other expenses. Apart from that, Eorange owner Sonia Mahzabeen and her brother police Inspector Sheikh Sohel Rana withdrew tens of millions of takas from those bank accounts with cheques using their own names.
ON THE RUN
Bajaj Collection has supplied the police with an account which says as of Jun 16, Eorange delivered its customers with 26,026 motorcycles and owed the vendor Tk 3.85 billion. Eorange paid up Tk 3.82 billion while Tk 4.8 million remained due. The motorcycle company did not supply the last 17 units ordered by Eorange.
Bajaj Collection Manager Masud Alam said their owner Sultan Uddin was trying to get bail while absconding.
“We are very surprised about the matter. It’s difficult to express in words. Our transaction terms with Eorange were that they would give us money first and provide a list of which customers would receive which model of motorcycle,” Masud said.
“The customers receive motorcycles from the showroom according to that list. Usually the customers would receive the product within a month or a month and a half.
“Eorange website marks the goods supplied to customers as ‘delivered’. Eorange could not show a single customer who did not receive their desired products from Bajaj Collection.
“Yet they came up with a scheme not to pay up the due money and filed a case against the vendors to take the matter to a different path. Our owner is an elderly person and a freedom fighter. He is now moving for bail.”
Masud claimed that E-orange owed his company Tk 25 million. They halted supplying motorcycles since payment stopped coming through after June. Eorange was applying pressure over the deliveries.
From Bosila showroom Bike Valley, Eorange bought Honda motorcycles. According to Bike Valley accounts given to the police, they supplied 4,572 motorcycles to Eorange.
Bike Valley officials said the costs amounted to Tk 752.28 million but Eorange paid up Tk 742.62 million, which means Eorange owed Tk 6 million to them.
The vendor did not deliver any goods to Eorange after Jun 17. The documents mentioned that Bike Valley did not deliver the last 27 orders.
An official of Bike Valley on Monday said the owner, Partha Pratim Roy, is currently abroad.
Hasan Mahmud, another owner of Bike Valey, claimed they have not received payments for more than 50 motorcycles from Eorange.
Wahidul Islam, a deputy commissioner of DMP’s DB, said all bank transactions of Eorange and the accused vendors are being investigated. The investigators are also looking into the details of those involved with the case.
Inspector Sohel Rana, who was suspended after his arrest in India, withdrew money 16 times in four months.
A phone conversation of Sohel Rana, one of the patrons of Eorange, with an accused in the case went viral on social media.
During the conversation, Sohel Rana said no one can cause any harm to him because of his political contacts.
The accounts provided by Eorange mention that Sohel Rana withdrew Tk 23.8 million from the company’s City Bank account in four months. His sister Sonia also drew money from the account.
Cheques were used with other names to draw money from the City Bank account more than 100 times.
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