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Govt to raise awareness against e-commerce frauds

  • Jannatul Islam
  • 24 September, 2021 12:00 AM
  • Print news

The government is likely to involve mass media in raising awareness against frauds in online shopping.

Ministry of Information and Broadcasting is likely issue instructions for mass media soon on the backdrop of recent unrest in e-commerce sector, official sources said.

They said the mass media would be required to include cautionary messages on frauds in online shopping when they run advertisements or commercials of ecommerce companies.

Commerce ministry recently sent a letter to information and broadcasting ministry requesting to issue such instructions for print, online and electronic media, an official of e-commerce cell of the government told Daily Sun.

The commerce ministry wrote to information ministry to raise awareness through mass media against frauds in the name of online shops.

"Cautionary messages should be included in every advertisement or commercial of e-commerce as the people can do safe transaction," Hafizur Rahman, head of e-commerce cell under the commerce ministry, told the Daily Sun on Thursday.

The government is working on finding possible solutions to the crisis in the scam-hit e-commerce companies as the victim customers continue protests seeking their money back.

 Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan, Law Minister Anisul Huq, Information Minister Hasan Mahmud and Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi met at an inter-ministerial meeting on Wednesday.

When asked about the meeting, Hafizur Rahman did not want to comment about the process of refunding the victim customers.

"The minister gave a statement on this issue. I can’t comment here," he said.

 Addressing a meeting at the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) on Wednesday, Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi said the scam-hit online company e-valy has fewer assets than it owes to customers and merchants. "Scammers like Destiny and Jubok have visible assets which can be utilized to refund the customers’ dues. However, the e-commerce companies like Evaly have fewer assets than their liabilities," he said.

There are questions about role of different regulatory bodies in allowing the e-commerce platforms to do “organised crimes in the name of e-commerce.”

E-commerce Association of Bangladesh (e-Cab) has not taken any significant action against the incidents like Evaly scam.

Its finance secretary Mohammad Abdul Haque Thursday said, "We are preparing a letter to suspend Evaly’s membership through lawyers. It will take a little more time."

Earlier, the Daily Sun ran a report on uprising of ponzi scheme in e-commerce sector following the Evaly style.

At least 15 companies are doing business holding public money for months without delivering products.

Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) arrested Evaly managing director Mohammad Rassel and chairman Shamima Nasrin recently.

Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) estimates that there has been around 166 percent growth in e-commerce business in 2020.

It says the size of the country’s e-commerce market that thrived during the pandemic is expected to reach $3 billion by 2023.