The High Court (HC) on Monday criticised the government for its delayed action against fraud e-commerce and multi-level marketing (MLM) companies.
"The government is taking steps, but when? When I already lost everything. Where is the remedy for this? I am going from door to door after losing my money. It does not matter that the accused persons are being arrested or jailed, where does all the money go? The thieves are arrested only after cases are filed," said an HC bench comprising Justice Md Saifur Rahman and Justice Zakir Hossain.
"We are failing to stop such theft," the HC bench observed during a hearing on a writ petition seeking stop of unauthorised private lending in the country.
"People's money is being looted and laundered to foreign countries; who is responsible to stop such incidents?" the HC asked.
In response, Deputy Attorney General Nur Us Sadik said the allegation of the government's inactivity is not right. The Ehsan Group owner and Evaly's top officials have already been arrested.
The court further asked, "The government's responsibility is to ensure basic rights of the citizens and establish the rule of law in the country. Is the government carrying out it properly?"
Advocate Syed Sayedul Haque Sumon stood for the writ petitioner while the deputy attorney general represented the state. The HC later fixed 27 September for passing the verdict on the writ petition.
The writ petition was filed on 7 September by the Supreme Court Advocate Syed Sayedul Haque in the form of public interest litigation, in which deputy commissioners and superintendents of police of 64 districts were made respondents.
Ehsan Group Chairman Ragib Hasan and three of his brothers allegedly embezzled Tk17,000 crore, defrauding thousands of people using their religious faith.
Meanwhile, controversial e-commerce platform Evaly owes more than Tk1,000 crore to customers and merchants.
Evaly grew on advances from customers against its promise to deliver products at a much later date that only deferred further, keeping hundreds of thousands of customers waiting for the products and causing the payments due to hundreds of sellers – who sold products to the platform on credit – to get stuck.