The Ministry of Commerce issued a letter asking the Ministry of Home Affairs to sue e-commerce platform Evaly for embezzlement of Tk338 crore owed to merchants, which was collected as an advance from customers.
The Ministry also sent a separate letter to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to take necessary legal action against Evaly over the irregularities reported by Bangladesh Bank.
According to an inspection report submitted to the Commerce Ministry last month, the central bank informed that Evaly's total liabilities were Tk407.18 crore.
After receiving Tk213.94 crore in advance from customers and Tk189.85 crore from merchants, the company was expected to have at least Tk403.80 crore in current assets, but it had only Tk65.17 crore, the report added.
The Commerce Ministry has also asked the Directorate of National Consumer Rights Protection and the Bangladesh Competition Commission to take legal action against Evaly for undelivered goods of which Tk214 crore was taken in advance and unpaid refunds worth Tk190 crore is owed to merchants.
In the letters, the Commerce Ministry stated that Evaly will be able to deliver goods or get the money back to only 16.14% of the customers with the company's current assets.
The company will not be able to clear its remaining dues owed to customers and merchants and an amount worth Tk338.62 crore could not be traced which has likely been embezzled or illegally withdrawn.
Chief Marketing Officer of Evaly Arif R Hossain could not be reached for a comment on the matter.
Earlier, Bangladesh Bank had also expressed concerns on Evaly's liability to customers and merchants being higher.
It was also reported that Evaly did not allow an inspection team to enter the company's replica database.
The Commerce Ministry has also advised consumers swindled by digital marketplaces to lodge complaints with the consumer rights directorate.
The ministry also issued a policy on digital operation guidelines for the e-commerce sector aiming to regulate the sector as well as to protect the interest of both buyers and sellers.
BDST: 1341 HRS, JUL 08, 2021