Shafiquzzaman, also the head of 15-member cabinet committee on e-commerce, said that a report on the issue will be submitted to the cabinet division before 11 November.

Regarding the Tk 2.24 billion (214 crore) stuck in payment gateways since the introduction of an escrow service, the official said, "Criminal Investigation Department (CID) has blocked the money. We will write to the home ministry to defreeze it. Customers will get refund afterwards."

"We are hopeful that the CID will defreeze the accounts soon so that we can pay back the money of the affected consumers and merchants in the shortest possible time," Shafiquzzaman said.

Some 1 per cent or 2 per cent service charges may be applied on the consumers and merchants while disbursing the money stuck up in the escrow payment gateway, the chief of the DCC also said.

A large number of customers have been deceived by various e-commerce companies, including Evaly, e-Orange, Dhamaka even after paying money in advance.

To curb such fraud and protect the interests of consumers, the government issued guidelines for the management of digital commerce, which calls for the use of escrow services.

Later, the cabinet formed a committee to restore discipline in the industry and protect customers and merchants from further losses.

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