Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit (BFIU) has found proof of irregular transactions from the bank account of e-commerce site e-orange by the company’s owner Sonia Mehjabin, her husband Masukur Rahman and her brother sub-inspector (suspended) Sheikh Sohel Rana.
BFIU submitted a report to the High Court (HC) bench of Justices Md Nazrul Islam Talukder and Khijir Hayat in this regard on Wednesday.
According to the report, Sonia in association with her husband, brother and uncle transferred Tk 18.56 crore from the bank account of e-orange to their personal bank accounts to buy properties.
“Instead of providing products to customers, Sonia and her associates took advance payments and embezzled the money, which is tantamount to fraudulence,” the report reads.
The report says that the transactions were made by opening a total of 13 accounts with different banks and financial institutions. Between January 2019 and September 2021, Tk 1111.45 crore had been deposited and Tk 1109.97 crore had been withdrawn from these accounts.
Most of the transactions happened between January 2020 and July 2021, the report added.
In the report, BFIU said that banks provided information of all the transactions made by e-orange to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of police on June 23, 2021. On CID’s request, transactions in these bank accounts were suspended on August 25, 2021 following Section 23(1)(C) of Money Laundering Prevention Act 2012.
The High Court on April 7, 2022 directed the Anti-Corruption Commission and Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit to investigate the allegation of money laundering and embezzling customers’ money against e-commerce platform E-orange and submit their report within four months.
The HC also wanted to know about the steps taken for bringing back the fugitive accused of e-commerce platform.
It also issued a rule asking the government to explain as to why directives should not be given to the authorities concerned to take legal action against those involved in siphoning off money of the customers of e-commerce platform E-orange after investigation.
The customers of E-orange ordered products from the e-commerce platform by collecting e-ticket after clearing payments.
But the company did not provide the products to the respective customers.
In this circumstances, on April 3, 2021, some 547 customers filed a writ petition seeking return of Tk 77.46 crore and directives for investigations into the allegation of money laundering against the company.