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Rassel wanted Evaly to go bankrupt: RAB

  • Staff Correspondent
  • 18 September, 2021 12:00 AM
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Rassel wanted Evaly to go bankrupt: RAB

Mohammad Rassel, the embattled chief executive officer (CEO) of e-commerce platform Evaly, had a plan to file for bankruptcy if the company failed to clear its liabilities, which have shot up to Tk 10 billion, according to Rapid Action Battalion (RAB).

He also wanted to take dividends by selling Evaly to a foreign company after creating a brand value. As part of his plan, he visited different countries, the elite force said.

“Even though a report found Evaly to be Tk 4.03 billion in debt until February 28, he (Rassel) said during preliminary interrogation that the liabilities amounted to Tk 10 billion,” Commander Khandaker Al Moin, director (Legal and Media Wing) of the elite force, told a press briefing on Friday.

Rassel was also seeking to enhance Evaly's 'brand value' by building a large customer base with an eye on selling the business, with all of its liabilities, to a foreign company, he said.

Meanwhile, Evaly consumers, who bought products from the e-commerce site but are yet to get the delivery, staged demonstrations in front of the Dhaka court demanding release of the Evaly CEO and his wife Shamima Nasrin, chairman of the company.

They staged the demonstrations in front of the Dhaka Metropolitan Magistrate's Court around 3:00pm.

Rassel and his wife were taken to the court around 2:00 pm and later produced before the court around 3:00pm when they were placed on a three-day remand each. Hearing the news, 40-50 customers started protesting in front of the court. They demanded release of the Evaly CEO and his wife.

They claimed that they would have received a quick return of the goods or money if Rassel had not been arrested. However, the arrest and remand of Rassel and his wife have made the chance of getting either products or money back uncertain.

RAB arrested Rassel and Nasrin from their Mohammadpur residence in the capital on Thursday in connection with a case filed by a customer alleging fraud. They were later interrogated at the RAB headquarters.

Arif Baker filed the case claiming that he saw Evaly’s advertisement and made orders worth Tk 310,000 from the site. Even though several months have elapsed since the orders, they are yet to be fulfilled.

Baker contacted Evaly offices and its CEO over the purchases and he was responded with death threats, “frightening” the man, according to the police.

Evaly appeared to be lying low after the government announced new steps to regulate digital marketplaces, leaving scores of disgruntled customers in the lurch.

The Anti-Corruption Commission is also investigating claims from the commerce ministry that Evaly misappropriated Tk 3.38 billion from customers and merchants.

The court, on July 15, issued a travel ban on Rassel and his wife following a plea from the anti-graft watchdog.