Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi on Wednesday said the government will form an e-commerce regulatory authority to run the sector in a disciplined way.
“This e-commerce regulatory authority will provide registration to e-commerce firms and strictly monitor the digital business,” said the minister while speaking in a joint meeting at his ministry on the recent problems in the e-commerce sector.
Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan, Information Minister Hasan Mahmud, Law Minister Anisul Huq and senior officials of the government attended the meeting.
“E-commerce is operating across the world. Thousands of people are involved in it. It won’t be logical to stop e-commerce due to fraudulence and cheating by a few firms. Tough action will be taken against those who’ve committed crimes. The government has taken necessary steps so that no one can cheat customers in the future,” said Munshi.
Earlier, legal action was taken against those firms that had cheated customers.
“A detailed e-commerce law will be passed and enforced soon and other measures like setting up a central complaint management system will be taken,” the minister noted.
Regarding companies like Evaly and Alesha Mart, the minister said transactions worth Tk 6,000 crore took place in the e-commerce sector before the introduction of the escrow service on June 4.
Following its introduction, products worth Tk400 crore have been ordered through the service and Tk200 crore has been transacted, he mentioned.
Tipu hinted that the Money Laundering Act will be amended, if needed, to ensure legal action against fraudulent companies.
On Evaly, he said the company has a liability of Tk 500 crore. An institution like Evaly does not have the assets to repay the money of its clients, he said.
Asked whether the government will take responsibility for the money, he said, “The government neither took the money nor enjoyed a share of profit.”
Another aggrieved customer on Wednesday filed a case against Evaly CEO Mohammad Russel and his wife Shamima Nasrin, chairman of the company, for the company’s failure to deliver an AC for which he paid Tk. 85,000 in advance.
This was the fourth case of embezzlement and fraudulence filed against the company’s executives in the past one week. The couple was arrested on September 16 by Rapid Action Battalion from their Mohammadpur flat.
Earlier on Tuesday, a Dhaka Court placed Rassel on a one-day remand in an embezzlement case filed with Dhanmondi Model Police Station. His wife Shamima was sent to jail.
On Aug 17, A Dhaka court sent owners of virtual outlet e-orange.shop Sonia Mehzabin, her husband Masukur Rahman and Aman Ullah, Chief Operating Officer the company to jail in a fraud case filed over embezzlement of Tk 1,100 crore from consumers.
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 station in presence of 37 other customers who testified against the accused.