e-com platforms money laundering BB seeks time from HC to submit report

24 November 2021

Staff Reporter :
The Bangladesh Bank sought time from the High Court for submitting a report regarding their steps taken over the alleged money laundering by the e-commerce platforms.
Upon hearing the time prayer the HC bench of Justice M Enayetur Rahim and Justice Md Mostafizur Rahman on Tuesday granted two days time for the central bank fixed Nov 25 for passing order over the matter.
Meanwhile, the National Board of Revenue (NBR) and commerce ministry submitted two reports in the court complying with its earlier order, said Deputy Attorney General Bepul Bagmar who represented the stated in the hearing.
Following three separate writ petitions, the HC bench on September 28 wanted to know from the National Board of Revenue whether it has any policy to collect VAT and tax from the e-commerce entities in the country.  
It also wanted to know from Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit (BFIU) what steps they have taken in the meantime over the alleged money laundering by the e-commerce platforms.
The court also wanted to know about the action plans and updated steps of the 16-member 'technical committee' that was formed to create a congenial environment for the scandal-hit digital commerce sector.
The respondents, NBR, Bangladesh Bank and the commerce ministry, were asked to comply with the court query by November 8 this year. But none of these three government bodies complied with the HC order within the time frame.
As a result the HC bench on November 16 expressed its resentment upon the negligence of three government bodies in informing the court regarding the steps taken over the alleged money laundering by the e-commerce platforms. "We will not tolerate this type of act," the HC bench also warned.
The court, however, granted time till November 23 to the state bodies to submit reports over the court queries regarding e-commerce scams.
Complying with the court order only the NBR and commerce ministry submitted their reports to the court on Tuesday, while the central bank failed to do so.  
Supreme Court lawyer Mohammad Shishir Manir filed a petition on September 23 on behalf of 33 consumers of the ecommerce platform 'e-orange.shop'.
Two other SC lawyers Md Anwarul Islam and Barrister Pallob Kabir M Humaun filed two other writ petitions as public interest litigations seeking some other directions over the e-commerce scams.
The HC bench on September 28 held a joint hearing on the three writ petitions and asked the respondents to submit their statements over the court queries. 

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