October 20, 2021, 1:31 pm

Staff Correspondent

2021-09-19 02:41:18 BdST

Dhamaka owes Tk300cr to customers, merchants

Sellers on the e-commerce platform Dhamaka Shopping on Saturday warned of legal actions if they find no solution to Tk 200 crore dues the platform owes to them within the next five days.

According to them, the e-commerce company owes more than Tk 300 crore to 650 merchants.

Jahangir Alam Emon, president of the Dhamakashopping.com (Invariant Telecom Bangladesh Ltd) Sellers’ Association, said that as per the agreement, about 650 entrepreneurs had been supplying 2,000 types of products to the online platform since December 2020 and the company repeatedly failed to pay their dues.

The agreement with Invariant Telecom Bangladesh Ltd, the owning company of Dhamaka Shopping, clearly stated that it would pay the dues within 10 working days after supplying the goods, Jahangir said.

“But sadly, those 10 days have now become 160+ working days. Despite repeated requests, Dhamaka authorities are not cooperating with the sellers,” he said.

The association’s leaders, who supplied goods to the company, came up with the information at a press conference held at the Dhaka Reporters’ Unity on Saturday.

Replying to a question, Jahangir Alam said customers were yet to receive products worth Tk 100 crore they purchased from the platform.

Jahangir also said, “Despite repeated view exchanges with the management to recover our dues, we neither got to meet any of the owners nor found a solution to this.

“The company’s Managing Director Jasim Uddin Chishti has repeatedly made promises but failed to keep them.”

At the event, the association leaders sought Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s intervention into the matter.

Baharul Alam, joint general secretary of the association said, “As young and SME traders, we have been running businesses by borrowing money from relatives and banks. Now, we are on our way to go broke.”

According to a written statement by the association, they applied to various ministries and the central bank from July to September to receive the dues but the efforts went in vain.

Baharul Islam, vice-president of the association, said the government should take necessary steps to refund the dues to sellers and provide goods to customers.” If the problem is not solved, we’ll take legal actions.”

Earlier on Friday, the suppliers of the e-commerce platform sought assistance from government authorities to recoup pending payments of Tk 200 crore owed to them by Dhamaka.

They also sent a letter to Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi last Tuesday in this regard.

Dhamaka’s suppliers urged the minister to take necessary measures to ensure their pending payments are disbursed forthwith on humanitarian grounds, taking into consideration their plight as SME traders.

On September 9, the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of police sued the owners of Dhamaka Shopping for laundering around Tk 117 crore.

The CID sued Dhamaka Shopping Managing Director SMD Jasim Uddin Chisti, his wife, their children, a director of the company, and four other organisations.

Earlier on July 27, the Bangladesh Bank ordered the freezing of 14 personal bank accounts of Dhamaka officers, including the personal bank accounts of its managing director based on information about money laundering.

Although Dhamaka started business in November 2020, the e-commerce firm is yet to open a business bank account of its own and has instead been collecting money from buyers through private and personal bank accounts.

Dhamaka has reportedly collected a hefty amount of money in advance from customers with offers ranging from 40 to 50 per cent discounts on various products, including cars and motorcycles.

The company also offered 35 per cent discounts on cars of various reputed luxury brands, including Mercedes-Benz.

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