The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of police has found evidence that e-commerce company Sirajganj Shop has embezzled over Tk4 crore.
CID recently filed a lawsuit under the Money Laundering Act against owner of the company Md Jewel Rana, Managing Director Akram Hossain, Alep Sheikh, and three unnamed persons.
Sources at CID said instead of supplying customers their products, the Sirajganj Shop officials withdrew and misappropriated Tk4.09 crore received as advance payment for ordered goods.
The accused have already left the country and steps have been taken to arrest them under the law, said relevant sources.
According to the case document, Sirajganj Shop registered in August last year, but they have been duping customers, offering products at unusual discount prices and taking money from them as advance payment since December 2020.
The online shopping company took money from customers with promises to supply various products including mobiles, fridges, and motorcycles, but delivered very few of the ordered products.
When the company failed to deliver the goods even after getting registered, the victims went to its office, but found no one there, which gave rise to uncertainty about getting their money back.
According to the initial investigation, accused Jewel Rana withdrew Tk50 lakh from the company's Exim Bank account last year without following rules and regulations of required annual income and expenditure auditing.
The accused in the case have illegally withdrawn Tk2.52 crore at different times and also used Tk1.07 crore from an account in NRBC Bank for personal expenditure.
Investigating officer in the case, CID's Financial Crimes Unit Sub-inspector, Mohammad Safiul Alam, told The Business Standard (TBS) that so far no one has been arrested in the case and they are investigating if anyone else is involved in the embezzlement.
Last year, mobile banking company Nagad filed a case against Sirajganj Shop owner Jewel Rana for embezzling Tk 47.43 crore.
According to the case statement, the e-commerce site embezzled the money through lots of refund requests to different customer accounts from 30-31 August 2021.
During the time, Nagad detected five unusual issues – abnormal number of refund requests at the same time; repeated refund requests of the same amount of money from the same account; refund requests were made against purchase orders for which goods had already been successfully delivered; requests were made to return more money than the actual amount of the order, and refund requests were made late at night.
After learning about these incidents, Nagad stopped transactions on several thousand accounts. However, most of the money went to a few Sirajganj Shop accounts which belonged to Jewel Rana and his relatives.