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Bangladesh - October 12, 2021

More e-commerce scams exposed

Industry Desk: Members of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) detained six officials of Tholay.com and WeCoom.com on charge of embezzlement of Tk 2.5 crore.
They were detained after an aggrieved customer lodged a complaint with the police against the two e-commerce platforms on charge of fraud, said Additional Deputy Inspector General of CID Imam Hossain while briefing reporters at its headquarters yesterday.
The detainees are Nazrul Islam, head of operation of Tholay.com and WeCoom.com, Sohel Hossain, 27, accounts officer of the firms, Tarek Mahmud Anik, 28, digital communication officer, Sazzad Hossain alias Piash, 27, sales executive officer, Munna Pervez, 26, call centre executive officer and Masum Hasan, 27, supervisor. The CID team also recovered some documents of agreement, bank cheques, photocopy machines, registrars and currency counting machines from the office. While briefing, Imam Hossain said the e-commerce platforms allured customers with many discounts and offers and swindled Tk 2.5 crore from them, he said.
Khairul Alam Mir, 27, a customer, complained that the companies offered many products at lucrative prices and promised that they would ensure delivery of their products within 30 days but failed to do that.
The scams of e-commerce platforms surfaced recently with the detection of fraudulence by a number of e-commerce firms, including Evaly and E-orange.
These online platforms took advance payments from customers by offering lucrative discounts but failed to supply the products.
Evaly CEO Mohammad Rassel and his wife Shamima Nasrin were arrested after an aggrieved customer, Arif Baker, lodged a case with Gulshan police station accusing them and few other company executives of embezzlement of money.
Sub-inspector Ahidul Islam, the investigation officer of the case, said the case was registered over the allegation of embezzlement of money and fraudulence.
Besides, the Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit (BFIU), an arm of the Bangladesh Bank that specializes in financial crime investigations, directed all the commercial banks and financial institutions through a common letter on August 27 to freeze all the bank accounts operated by top executives of Evaly.
The Directorate of National Consumer Right Protection, a department under the Commerce Ministry, received allegations from consumers about “cheating” by Evaly.
Bangladesh Bank officials said one of the major allegations against Evaly is forcing its consumers to deposit their money in the e-wallet of the firm which was totally illegal.
On September 2, a Dhaka court sent virtual outlet e-orange.shop owner Sonia Mehzabin, her husband Masukur Rahman and, Chief Operating Officer, Aman Ullah to jail in a fraud case filed over embezzlement of Tk 1,100 crore from consumers.
On August 23, Dhaka Metropolitan Magistrate Morshed Al Mamun Bhuiyan placed the accused on a 5-day remand in the case. On August 17, the court sent them to jail rejecting their bail prayers when they surrendered to Dhaka Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Abubakar Siddique’s court. On August 16, an aggrieved customer of E-Orange, Md Taherul Islam, filed a fraud case with Gulshan police in presence of 37 other customers who testified against the accused.

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