Hundreds of customers and marchants have gathered outside the Evaly office in Dhaka's Dhanmondi demanding their money back and release of Evaly founder Mohammad Rassel from prison.
The customers under the banner of "Evaly Merchant and Consumers Coordination Committee" started to gather outside the office on Thursday (22 September) morning following the transfer of the e-commerce platform's responsibility to the family of Mohammad Rassel, former managing director of the company.
Rassel's wife Shamima Nasrin, a co-founder and former chairman of Evaly, rejoined the company's board as its director today, said Mahbub Kabir Milon, managing director of the court-appointed board.
Milon, also a former additional secretary of the company, arrived at the Evaly office at 10am Thursday. "We submitted the final report on Evaly to the court. I hope, Evaly will turn back if the company gets investment," he said.
At a human chain this morning, leaders of "Evaly Merchant and Consumers Coordination Committee" have also expressed their gratitude to the court for allowing Evaly to resume its operation.
As per the instructions of the High Court, the new board of directors has been asked to appoint an official from the commerce ministry as an independent director for Evaly.
The ministry official cannot hold any position lower than that of a joint secretary. The new board will also have a representative from the e-Commerce Association of Bangladesh (e-CAB).
Launched on 16 December 2018, Evaly pretended to be driven by dreams to build an Amazon or Alibaba of Bangladesh, grew too big riding on a dangerous business model and offering abnormal discounts to attract huge customers, taking advances from them and delivering products months later.
It was apparent that the firm was depending on the fresh flow of advances from customers to clear the previous bills and running the business was synonymous with increasing the liabilities of the firm, identical to a Ponzi scheme.
It all happened before the regulators, policymakers addressed the risk of the widening liabilities of the business and an increasing number of people being trapped there.
Following a petition filed by a customer, the HC on 22 September last year put a moratorium on the sale or transfer of all movable and immovable properties of Evaly.
The court also issued a ruling, asking why a liquidator should not be appointed to wind down the e-commerce platform immediately.
The court on 18 October 2021 formed a four-member new board to manage, control, and assess the liabilities of the e-commerce platform.
According to Evaly's own assessment, it has assets of only Tk121 crore, while it owes customers and merchants more than Tk1,000 crore.
On 15 September last year, an Evaly customer filed a case with Gulshan Police Station against Mohammad Rassel and his wife Shamima Nasrin, erstwhile chairman of Evaly, on allegations of fraud and embezzlement.
The Rapid Action Battalion arrested Rassel and his wife Shamima Nasrin in a raid of their residence in the capital's Mohammadpur area the day after the case was filed.
On 6 April, Shamima Nasrin was released on bail after spending six months in jail, but her husband Rassel has still remained behind bars.