The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has launched an inquiry against e-commerce platform Evaly following a commerce ministry request for legal action over alleged embezzlement of Tk338 crore Evaly took in advance from customers and owed to merchants.
The commission on Thursday formed a two-member probe panel, led by ACC Assistant Director Mamunur Rashid Chowdhury. The other member of the team is Deputy Assistant Director Shihab Salam, sources at ACC confirmed The Business Standard.
On 4 July, the commerce ministry sent separate letters to the home ministry, the ACC, the Directorate of National Consumer Rights Protection and the Bangladesh Competition Commission to take legal action against Evaly by investigating the non-delivery of goods after accepting Tk214 crore in advance payment from customers and the refund of Tk190 crore owed to businesses.
In an inspection report submitted to the commerce ministry last month, the Bangladesh Bank said Evaly's total liability was 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.
Expressing concern that the amount of Evaly's liability to customers and merchants may be higher, the Bangladesh Bank mentioned in the report that this is the reason why the Evaly authorities did not allow the inspection team to enter the company's replica database.
Asked for his comment on the inquiry, Evaly Managing Director and CEO Mohammad Rassel told TBS that they will cooperate with the investigation team.
He, however, claimed the gap between assets and liabilities is due to the costs of business development and it was not embezzlement.