No hope for Evaly customers in sight

Shining BD Desk || Shining BD

Published: 11/7/2022 5:52:17 AM

With a lot of hype, the much-talked-about controversial e-commerce platform Evaly from its verified facebook page announced its comeback with resuming operations of its android app and new server.

After a year of shutdown, Evaly resumed business by offering gift cards on 28 October.

Within five days of activation, the government asked it to stop selling all sorts of digital products including gift cards stating that it was a violation of e-commerce guidelines.

After that, frustration has gripped customers and merchants again while Evaly’s MD Mohammad Rasel is still behind bars.

Undetermined liabilities on audit report and no external investment have also triggered lingering doubt about Evaly’s staging a comeback.

“From now on, we are committed not to sell a single product without profit and do that at unbeatable ‘best price’ at the market,” Evaly’s Chairman Shamima Nasreen said.

Fahim Mashroor, Co-Founder and CEO of bdjobs said: “I’m not sure whether Evaly wants to come into the market as a new company or the former one.”

If it wants to do business under its old company it has to carry the existing liability but the audit did not manage to publish its liability with proper data.

The organization’s reported liability may stand at around TK4000-5000 crore. Whatever the amount is Evaly must have to clear its liability as per the company act of Bangladesh, he assumed.

The High Court too directed so. “I personally don’t think they will be able to repay the liability.”

Evaly’s dues yet to be determined

Evaly’s creditors are unlikely to get their money back as there is no documentation from the controversial e-commerce platform’s end, making it difficult to verify who it owes how much, according to the recent audit carried out by the High Court-appointed board.

The auditors traced transactions amounting to Tk4,800 crore through seven bank accounts of Evaly in 2018 and 2019 but there is no paperwork, said AHM Shamsuddin Choudhury Manik, the Chairman of the five-member board formed by the High Court in October last year.

The audit could not determine whether further transactions took place beyond the seven bank accounts.

He mentioned that missing server password holding back customers and merchants being paid and there is no clue at Evaly’s office.

The audit found many vouchers dispensed but there was no mention of why those were made and for whom.

“So, we suspect that money laundering might have taken place,” Manik said, adding that it is not possible to conclusively determine how much Evaly owes its customers and merchants.

Meanwhile, Tk25 crore currently lies in different escrow accounts belonging to Evaly and another Tk25 crore worth of goods lies in its two warehouses.

Asked if there is any possibility of the customers and merchants getting their money back, he said Evaly does not have the means to pay back the sums.

“We had mistakes in not picking up investment at right time but we have never cheated and money has not also been laundered. Our lawyer will be able to prove that,” she said.

“Our aim was to repay primary liability from our future profits. Now we have representatives of E-cab and the Commerce Ministry. This time there is no chance of mistakes anymore,” she said.

Evaly has had transaction in five gateways where all transactions records are available but from every gateway millions of Taka of millions of customers has been transferred.

It was not possible to collect information from back end. So, the amount of said money statement of 45 lakhs customers is time consuming matter.

So, the information of Tk48, 00 crore transactions are based on assumptions.

“There might have information gap as our office and documents were not protected and lost after the arrests of us and office staffs,” she further said.

New investment a must

According to Evaly’s statement, if it can run businesses smoothly for one year it will be able to repay its existing liabilities from the very first investment.

About the issue, Shamima said Evaly has 45 lakhs customers and 30 merchants. If they purchase goods regularly local and foreign investments will come, which is very much important for Evaly now.

However, the e-commerce sector in Bangladesh has already gone through a bad patch and no new investment is coming after Covid-19 pandemic while most of the companies are refraining from expansions, according to the industry insiders.

It is now tough to gain external investments for e-commerce companies as it has been hit hard by the current inflation and dollar price hike coupled with several scams in the sector, commented Najmul Sheikh, CEO of the country’s largest beauty start-up

No sign of new investments coming soon in the given situations, he said.

Manik also expressed his hope that if any investor comes on board then there are some possibilities for Evaly.

But the company which has been involved in widespread scam and irregularities may not be able to regain the trust and reliability of people. 

Previous server not recovered

On 28 October, Evaly started operations with new server as the former server ( was not available at that moment. The former server has all records of liabilities and every transaction.

“We are trying to give back the money stuck in payment gateways. For that, restarting our former server is a must for which our MD must be freed from jail.”

He could solve the issue if he could talk directly with Amazon,” said Shamima.

“Of course, if our server is opened and we are given time, we will be able to give statement of every single taka,” she said confidently.

On 16 September last year, Evaly CEO Mohammad Rassel and his wife Shamima were arrested during a raid on their house in capital’s Mohammadpur area.

The owners of Evaly were allegedly involved in embezzlement of several hundred crores of taka. They were arrested after a victim filed a case against them.

On 06 Aprilthis year, Shamima, the Co-fFounder of Evaly, was out on bail.


By The Business Post 

Shining BD