The commerce ministry will request the home ministry to take legal actions against e-commerce platform Evaly for violations of laws and deceiving customers.
Evaly violated many provisions of the Penal Code 1860, Digital Security Act and Consumer Rights Protection Act, said Hafizur Rahman, additional secretary of the commerce ministry.
A letter will soon be issued to the home ministry based on recommendations of the inter-ministerial committee on e-commerce, he added.
Earlier in July, the commerce ministry in a letter requested the Public Security Division of the home ministry to take actions against Evaly based on a report prepared by the home ministry.
Upon receiving the letter, the Criminal Investigation Department filed a money laundering case against another e-commerce platform DhamakaShopping but has not taken any step against Evaly.
The controversial digital marketplace itself estimated Tk311 crore dues to its customers and Tk206 crore to merchants.
Evaly CEO Mohammad Rassel informed the commerce ministry that it would pay off the dues to its customers in five months if it could draw expected investments. He, however, did not say anything about paying off the merchants.
Hafizur said the government will give utmost priority to retrieving customers' money from Evaly. But they cannot guarantee it.
"Customers will get their refunds only if we can detect where Evaly has laundered or transferred the money to," he also said.
As per the Companies Act, the government cannot appoint an administrator to any company without the court's permission. However, they will look into whether it is possible for the government to appoint an administrator in an exceptional circumstance like Evaly's case.
The commerce ministry will decide its own course after discussing all the issues.
The Bangladesh Bank has requested the commerce ministry to appoint firms to conduct financial audits into 10 errant e-commerce companies. In this case, there are also some legal obligations. If the law permits, the commerce ministry will audit 10 companies, including Evaly.
Allegations are also rife that Evaly part, Alesha Mart, Dhamaka, E-orange, Sirajganj Shop, Aladiner Prodip, Qcoom, BoomBoom, Adyan Mart and Need.com.bd also received advance payments from customers, but they are neither giving products nor refunds.
Hafizur said they will request the home ministry to take similar legal action against these companies if they are found to have defrauded customers and merchants.