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e-com scams

BB seeks time for submitting report over money laundering

FE REPORT | November 25, 2021 00:00:00

The Bangladesh Bank sought time from the High Court for submitting a report regarding their steps taken over the alleged money laundering by e-commerce platforms.

Upon hearing the time prayer the High Court bench of Justice M Enayetur Rahim and Justice Md Mostafizur Rahman on Tuesday granted two days' time for the central bank and fixed Nov 25 (today) for passing an order over the matter.

Meanwhile, the National Board of Revenue (NBR) and the commerce ministry submitted two reports to the court complying with its earlier order, said Deputy Attorney General Bepul Bagmar who represented the state in the hearing.

Following three separate writ petitions, the HC bench on September 28 wanted to know from the National Board of Revenue whether it had any policy to collect VAT and tax from the e-commerce entities in the country.

It also wanted to know from Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit (BFIU) what steps they had taken over the alleged money laundering by the e-commerce platforms.

The court also wanted to know 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 respondents, NBR, Bangladesh Bank and the commerce ministry, were asked to answer the court query by November 8 this year. But none of these three government bodies complied with the HC order within the timeframe.

As a result, the High Court bench on Nov 16 expressed its resentment over the negligence of the three government bodies in informing the court of the steps taken over the alleged money laundering by the e-commerce platforms. "We will not tolerate this type of act," the HC bench also warned.

The court, however, granted time till Nov 23 for the state bodies to submit reports over the court queries regarding e-commerce scams.

Complying with the court order only the NBR and the commerce ministry submitted their reports to the court on Tuesday, while the central bank sought more time.

Supreme Court lawyer Mohammad Shishir Manir filed one of the three petitions on September 23 on behalf of 33 consumers of the ecommerce 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.

The High Court bench on September 28 held a joint hearing on the three writ petitions and asked the respondents to submit their statements over the court queries.

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