Government must take responsibility for scandal-hit e-commerce sector: Minister

“Sometimes people are defrauded through this type of activity and it has been happening for quite some time. Now it has taken on a different form. Before it was done manually, but now it is done electronically.” , he told reporters on Wednesday.

“Of course, the government must take responsibility and regulate [e-commerce businesses]. How can the government avoid its responsibility? “

The e-commerce industry has been growing for several years, and a number of new businesses have grown in importance since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.

But some of these companies are now facing allegations of scamming customers of millions of taka into luring them with lucrative deals.

Many bought products at half the price and then ordered more merchandise worth thousands of taka from these companies in the hope of reselling them at higher prices. But even after months of waiting, customers have neither received the products nor refunded.

Mohammad Rassel, managing director of struggling online marketplace Evaly, is among several people behind bars accused of fraud and embezzlement in recent e-commerce scams.

Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi told reporters after a meeting on Wednesday that the government would consider his release if it appeared that it would be possible to reimburse a “significant” number of Evaly’s customers by selling his assets.

“The government did not take the money and it did not get the share of the profits customers made by shopping. [from Evaly]. So how will the government pay it back? But we will discuss the matter further.

The meeting decided to form a regulatory authority to deal with e-commerce businesses and to pass a full-fledged law to bring fraudsters in the industry to justice.

“But it will take time,” Tipu Munshi said.