August 10, 2022

Twenty-five controversial e-commerce platforms in Bangladesh were deluged with orders worth a staggering Tk 6,050 crore in just four months last year under Ponzi-like schemes that lured unsuspecting customers on the back of hefty discounts.

It came after the central bank carried out a comprehensive assessment exposing the sheer scale of scams that rattled the booming digital commerce segment.

Usually, e-commerce and Facebook-based traders in Bangladesh see monthly transactions of Tk 500-550 crore. But it rose to Tk 6,050 crore for the 25 firms alone between March and June last year, according to the report of the Bangladesh Bank.

The BB has so far identified 25 e-commerce platforms that are involved with the scams, including Evaly, E-orange, Qcoom, Dhamaka, Aladinerprodip, Sirajganj Shop, Alesha Mart and Dalal Plus, which received the money from clients through payment gateways and banks.

The platforms ran the operations that can be likened to the Ponzi scheme, an investment fraud method that pays existing clients with funds collected from new ones.

The fraudulent practices prompted the central bank to instruct banks, mobile financial services (MFS), payment service providers and payment system operators on June 30 last year to clear the payments in favour of e-commerce shops after clients get the delivery of the products.

The move was aimed at preventing fraudulent e-commerce platforms from embezzling…

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