3 shopping sites laundered Tk 350cr
Eorange, Dhamaka Shopping and SPC World Express have laundered at least Tk 350 crore that they had received from customers in advance payment for goods, found the Criminal Investigation Department of police in its primary investigation.
Of them, Eorange, where absconding police inspector Sohel Rana is a director, siphoned off Tk 232.4 crore.
Dhamaka Shopping, whose directors have fled the country in July for the US, laundered about Tk 116.7 crore.
SPC World Express, whose Chief Executive Director Al Amin and its director Sharmin Akter were arrested on Sunday by the CID, whisked off about Tk 1.2 crore.
In June, the CID's Financial Crime department initiated a shadow investigation against 20-odd e-commerce platforms, Humayun Kabir, special superintendent of the department, told The Daily Star yesterday.
The department requested the Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit -- the government agency responsible for investigating money laundering, suspicious transactions and cash transaction reports -- to look into the companies' bank transactions.
So far, proof of money laundering has been found against the three companies and cases have been filed against them, he said, adding that the amount siphoned off may end up being higher following further investigation.
The CID had filed cases against SPC World Express and Dhamaka Shopping in August and September respectively, and on Sunday, Eorange was sued.
At least 11 people including Rana and his sister Sonia Mehjabin, chairperson of Eorange; her husband Masukur Rahman, the CEO of Eorange; Md Amanullah Chowdhury, its chief operating officer, were accused in the case filed with the Gulshan Police Station.
They used Eorange and its three affiliate companies -- Red Orange International, Orange Bangladesh and All Zone -- to launder the amount, said CID sources.
The CID in its investigation found that at least Tk 635 crore was deposited in Eorange's accounts with two private banks. Of the sum, Tk 630 crore has been withdrawn.
Before Eorange closed its delivery, Tk 188.6 crore was transferred to its sister concern All Zone's account in 22 transactions between February 17 to July 8, according to the case statement.
Rana withdrew Tk 2.47 crore in 17 transactions from the account. From the same account, one Babu, Fazlu, Milon, Adity and Zobayer, among others withdrew Tk 31.6 crore, CID sources said.
Besides, Tk 99 lakh was transferred to Eorange's sister concern Red Orange International and Tk 15.18 lakh to Orange Bangladesh.
The CID also found that Eorange embezzled Tk 8.55 crore it had received from 26 customers.
Red Orange International, Orange Bangladesh and All Zone were made accused in the case.
FROM DESTINY TO SPC
SPC World CEO Al Amin was a senior-level team leader and instructor of MLM firm Destiny. Using the same model, he founded his own company.
SPC World, which has been offering 50-150 percent discount on electronic items and motorcycles, has a customer base of about one crore and had transactions of Tk 22 crore in recent months.
The company initially delivered products within the promised timeframe but as its customer number started to increase, it started to defraud customers, according to Kabir.
Al-Amin is accused of four cases on money laundering, digital security act, MLM Control Act and cheating customers.
QCOOM TREADS THE SAME PATH
In another development, the detective branch of police learnt Qcoom, another fraudulent e-commerce site whose owner Ripon Mia was arrested on Sunday, owes at least Tk 250 crore.
Besides, at least Tk 397 crore that Qcoom collected from customers through orders for motorcycles is stuck with payment gateways, said AKM Hafiz Akter, the DB chief yesterday.
The company also offered mindboggling discounts on motorcycles, which tempted many to hand over their money in advance.
Unable to deliver the motorcycles, Qcoom started to give cheques of Tk 1.3 lakh against each order.
On realising that Qcoom was not providing products to customers but were instead handing them cheques, the payment gateway Foster froze the money, Akter said.
Meanwhile, the CID is investigating 24 cases filed by customers over incidents of cheating by e-commerce firms, said Kamrul Ahsan, additional deputy inspector general of CID Cyber Police Centre.
Among them, Eorange alone is facing eight cases.