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There is no estimate how much money the 12 e-commerce sites have embezzled. However, findings by the law enforcement agencies and statements by customers and e-commerce site owners suggest that at least four e-commerce sites have owed Tk 31.21 billion (Tk 3,121 crore) to customers and product suppliers. The law enforcement agencies have gathered information that Evaly has embezzled Tk 9.5 billion, E-orange Tk 11 billion, Dhamaka Tk 8.03 billion and SPC World Tk 2.68 billion.

In December 2018, Evaly started the business with only Tk 50,000 paid-up capital. The e-commerce platform embezzled huge amount of money after luring young customers with a promise of helping them purchase their preferable products at mega discount. Dhamaka, Qcoom, E-orange, Dalal Plus, Adyan Mart, Sirajganj Shop, Aladiner Prodip, Priyo Shop, Nirapod dotcom, SPC World and others followed the path.

Complaints have been lodged against Invariant Telecom Bangladesh Limited for embezzling Tk 8.03 billion through the Dhamaka e-commerce site.

Given the growing allegations against the e-commerce businesses, a Prime Minister’s Office meeting in 2019 recommended the on-delivery payment system. The commerce ministry was to take the final decision. After a long gap, the system was launched in June. On 4 July, the commerce ministry issued a guideline to operate e-commerce business ‘properly’.

Already some e-commerce platforms have embezzled millions of taka from their customers. This is a pure fraudulence.

Customers trusted the e-commerce platforms having approval from the authorities concerned. Hence, the authorities cannot shirk off their responsibility when e-commerce businesses deceive the customers. Previously, some multi-level marketing ventures cheated their clients. The government failed to take necessary action in due time. Now, no one wants to shoulder the liability. Even the officials concerned remain silent. The unscrupulous businesses who embezzle millions from customers must be brought to book. Besides, the people deployed for monitoring the business must be held accountable.

Untimely end of the potential e-commerce business by some frauds is not desirable. Effective steps should be taken to protect the interests of customers.

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