FE Today Logo

Says BFIU report submitted to HC

Evaly withdrew billions from its accounts

Tk 38.98b has been transacted so far through 36 bank accounts

FE REPORT | November 26, 2021 12:00:00

Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit (BFIU) of the Bangladesh Bank (BB) in a report said that the authorities of the controversial e-commerce platform Evaly withdrew billions of taka from the company's accounts - that did not seem normal.

The Evaly authorities also transferred money from one account to another without any valid reason, said the report, submitted to the High Court on Thursday.

The organisation repaid loans taken in the name of its chairman and also in the name of the chairman's another organisation with the money paid by Evaly customers against the purchase of products, the report further said.

The Evaly authorities sent its money to another institution in the name of fund transfer - though it was not necessary, they made the transactions by opening multiple financial accounts based in the Konabari area of Gazipur district.

The company also made abnormal transactions with different agent-banking branches, according to the report.

A total of Tk 38.98 billion has been transacted so far through 36 bank accounts of Evaly. Of this, about Tk 19.56 billion has been deposited and about Tk 19.42 billion has been withdrawn from the accounts. As of August 30, 2020, the balance of the accounts is about Tk 21.3 million.

Md Ikramul Hasan, a joint director of BFIU, sent the report to the High Court bench of Justice M Enayetur Rahim and Justice Md Mostafizur Rahman, complying with its earlier order. Senior Advocate Shamim Khaled Ahmed submitted the report in the court on behalf of the BFIU.

The BFIU has already traced a total of 81 accounts of the Evaly with different banks and financial organisations and asked the reporting organisations concerned to freeze those accounts.

Earlier, on September 23, lawyer Mohammad Shishir Manir filed a petition on behalf of 33 consumers of the e-commerce platform 'e-orange.shop'.

Two other Supreme Court lawyers Md Anwarul Islam and Barrister Pallob Kabir M Humaun filed two other writ petitions as public interest litigations seeking some other directions over the e-commerce scams.

Following three separate writ petitions, the HC bench on September 28 held a joint hearing on the three writ petitions and asked the respondents - National Board of Revenue (NBR), BFIU, and the commerce ministry - to submit their statements over the court queries.

The HC wanted to know from the NBR whether it had any policy to collect vat and tax from the e-commerce entities in the country.

The court also wanted to know from BFIU as to what steps it had taken over the alleged money laundering by the e-commerce platforms.

It also wanted to know from the commerce ministry about the action plans and updated steps of the 16-member 'technical committee' that was formed to create a congenial environment for the scandal-hit digital commerce sector.

The three respondents were asked to comply with the court order by November 8 this year. Complying with the order, the three state bodies sent separate reports to the court.

The court, however, adjourned the hearing till February 28, 2022.

Lawyers Mohammad Shishir Manir and Pallob Kabir M Humaun appeared in the court on behalf of the writ petitioners, while Shamim Khaled Ahmed appeared for the BFIU, Tapas Kanti Baul for the commerce ministry and Deputy Attorney General Bepul Bagmar for the state.

[email protected]

Share if you like