The commerce ministry will reopen e-commerce platform Qcoom to make a list of its customers to return their money stuck in payment gateway Foster and deliver around Tk100 crore worth of goods stored in the warehouse.
The ministry is also taking similar steps for customers of another e-commerce platform Aladiner Prodip, which currently remains closed. The ministry officials have been in touch with Mehedi Hasan Moon, a Dhaka University student who owns the e-commerce company. He has been absconding since a case was filed against him for cheating customers.
AHM Shafiquzzaman, additional secretary at the commerce ministry and head of the Digital Commerce Cell, yesterday told The Business Standard, "Qcoom had bought products worth Tk100 crore, which are kept in their warehouse. The company has applied to the ministry to deliver the products to the customers."
"We have formed a committee to supervise the warehouse inspection and delivery of the products. Steps are being taken to reopen the Qcoom office to verify all the orders and the customers' payment information to deliver the products and to return the money stuck in (payment gateway) Foster to customers," he added.
The commerce ministry on Wednesday sent a letter to the Bangladesh Bank to take necessary steps to reimburse Tk59 crore to 6,721 customers of Qcoom who did not receive their purchased products even after paying the price in advance.
Besides, Tk340 crore belonging to Qcoom and its customers is currently stuck in payment gateway Foster
Ripon Mia, chief executive officer of Qcoom, was arrested in October 2021 on charges of cheating customers with lucrative offers to sell products at much lower prices than the market price.
Ripon could be granted bail if the products in the warehouse and the money stuck at the payment gateway are returned to customers, the commerce ministry officials said, adding that it could also create an opportunity for the company to resume operations.
E-commerce platform Aladiner Prodip also shut down its operation after a lawsuit was filed against its owner for cheating with customers.
According to the Bangladesh Bank sources, Aladiner Prodip has taken Tk106 crore from customers, but only Tk5 crore was found in the company's bank account that was seized. However, commerce ministry officials said, a large sum of Aladiner Prodip's money is stuck in the payment gateway SSL.
"The owner of Aladiner Prodip is absconding, but somehow we managed to contact him. We want to return the money stuck in SSL to the customers of Aladiner Prodip," said Shafiquzzaman.
He said the owner of Aladiner Prodip was not interested in coming to the secretariat. So, an initiative will be taken to reimburse the customers by holding a meeting with him online.
"We are working on a plan to return the money of all the customers of the e-commerce companies one by one in this way," said Shafiquzzaman.
Meanwhile, the board formed by the High Court to run e-commerce platform Evaly has decided to recover the vehicles owned by the company officials within seven days. A board member told TBS that legal action would be taken against those who would not return the vehicles within the stipulated time.
He said more than 20 vehicles of different brands including Range Rover and Harrier have been purchased in the name of Evaly, but no trace of those cars can be found. Those who have the cars have been instructed to return them.