Non-submission of report on money laundering by e-commerce firms irks HC

  |  Wednesday, November 17th, 2021 |  1:47 pm

The High Court on Tuesday expressed discontent as the authorities concerned failed to submit reports in time on steps taken against money laundering by e-commerce firms and policy to collect tax and VAT from the firms.

The HC bench of justice M Enayetur Rahim and Md Mostafizur Rahman expressed their dissatisfaction during a hearing on three writ petitions filed by victims of fraudulence by e-commerce companies .

The bench said the court will take the matter seriously as the concerned government bodies did not respond to the notice issued by the High Court.

The court asked Deputy Attorney General Bipul Bagmar to inform the matter to the Attorney General, UNB reports.

The court then set November 23 for next hearing and extended the time for report submission till then.

Earlier on September 30, the court asked the Ministry of Commerce, the National Board of Revenue (NBR) and Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit (BFIU) to submit separate reports on money laundering by the e-commerce platforms by November 8.

The court asked the BFIU to inform it the steps it has taken on money laundering by e-commerce firms and also wanted to know from NBR its policy on collecting VAT and Tax from these firms.

The court also inquired about the area of work of the 16-member technical committee formed by the Commerce Ministry for the e-commerce sector.

Lawyers Mohammad Shishir Monir, Md Anwarul Islam and Pallob Kabir M Humaun appeared for the petitioners, while Deputy Attorney General Bipul Bagmar represented the state during the hearing.

Earlier on September 20, Supreme Court lawyer Anwarul Islam filed a writ petition seeking its directive on creating an independent e-commerce monitoring institute to protect the interest and rights of customers of e-commerce.

On September 22, another SC lawyer Mohammad Humayun Kabir filed a petition seeking its directive on forming a probe-committee to find out the responsible individual or government authority whose negligence or failure has caused lakhs of consumers monetary losses from renowned e-commerce like Evaly, e-orange, Dhamaka, Daraz, Qcoom, Aladiner Prodip, Alesha Mart, and Dalal Plus.

On September 23, thirty-three consumers of e-orange filed a writ to get back their money from the company.

The petition was filed by advocate Shishir Monir seeking bar on the senior officials and authority of the risky e-commerce companies like e-orange from leaving the country and seeking a committee for protecting the interest of both the customer and company coordinated by economists, IT experts, and stakeholders.