The woman and her husband hold top positions with her brother, a police official, patronising everything from behind the scenes.
This is how a family has entered into an e-commerce business named "E-orange" and gradually conned crores of taka out of customers by tricking them into paying in advance for products on huge discounts.
Unlike other family businesses, E-orange experienced a "robust growth" in sales in only two years since its inception in 2019.
E-orange owner Sonia Mehzabin, sister of Banani police inspector (investigation) Sheikh Sohel Rana, her husband Masukur Rahman and Sohel's so-called wife Naznin Nahar Bithi, another owner of the company, all have allegedly gobbled up around Tk1,100 crore in advance money without delivering products purchased to customers, according to a case document.
Analysing the data of the company's bank accounts till 20 July, over Tk 620.67 crore was deposited to one of E-orange City bank accounts and a little over Tk663 crore was later transferred to motorcycle vendors. The account now has a deposit of around Tk22 lakh.
Till 30 June this year, over Tk391 crore was deposited to its Brac Bank account and more than Tk388 crore was later withdrawn from this account. At present, there is only around Tk3 crore in the account.
An intelligence report said Sonia is the chief executive of E-orange, who is taking care of almost all of her brother's businesses. Her husband Masukur is a deputy general manager of a mobile banking company and also chief adviser to E-orange. The report mentions several marriages of Sohel Rana.
In an investigation report by a law enforcement agency, Orange Bangladesh's TIN certificate was used for the registration of E-orange and Sohel Rana was named as the director of Orange Bangladesh.
Sohel withdrew around Tk2.5 crore from the e-commerce company at different times.
According to the investigation report, Tk349 crore was withdrawn from two bank accounts of E-orange. But there is no clue where the money has gone. It is suspected that the money has been laundered. Several agencies have launched an investigation into it.
Md Taherul Islam, a customer who filed the Tk1,100 crore embezzlement case, told The Business Standard that they could not sue Sohel Rana as he is a policeman.
However, Sohel was the 10th accused of a case filed by another aggrieved customer on Thursday in connection with embezzlement from the digital marketplace E-orange.
That night Sohel fled the country to avoid arrest. Sohel had intended to go to Nepal through India, a Gulshan police source confirmed.
The millionaire police inspector
Four flats, a Tk9 crore commercial building, a number of plots and membership to elite clubs, and hundreds of crores of taka in assets in four different countries - this is all owned by former Banani police inspector (investigation) Sheikh Sohel Rana who was arrested in India after fleeing the country.
Intelligence sources also said the police officer ran three business establishments and a number of dealerships of multinational companies.
Of his four flats, two are in Niketan. Sheikh Sohel Rana also runs a business called T&G, with a branch at DCC Market in Gulshan and another at Garib-e-Newaz Avenue in Uttara.
For his real estate ambitions, Sohel also bought a plot in Sector-3 in Purbachal, two plots in E and I block of a residential area adjacent to Kuril Bishwa Road and land for a resort in Khagrachari.
Sheikh Sohel Rana, once sub-inspector of Diplomatic Security Division of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP), was also involved in human trafficking, claimed an intelligence report.
The report also mentioned that he charged around EUR 800 per person to send them to Europe.
He reportedly crossed the India-Bangladesh border with the help of a Bangladeshi human trafficker, paying him Tk10,000, said the BSF North Bengal frontier force.
On Friday, Rana was detained by members of the Indian Border Security Force (BSF) from the Changrabandha border in West Bengal's Cooch Behar district on charges of trespassing.
Last July, a case of fraud was filed against E-orange at Gulshan Police Station for misappropriating Tk 1,100 crore from one lakh customers. A person named Taherul Islam filed the case on behalf of 29 aggrieved customers.
Three people, including the e-commerce platform's owner Sonia Mehzabin, who is Sohel Rana's sister, and her husband Mashukur Rahman, are now in jail. The two, including Bithi Akhter alias Naznin Nahar Bithi, have fled. The plaintiff in the case said that Bithi is the fourth wife of police officer Sohel Rana.