October 23, 2021, 1:09 am

Staff Correspondent

2021-09-14 13:25:50 BdST

Nagad plans to reactivate over 17,000 accounts

Nagad is planning to reactivate more than 17,000 accounts it suspended earlier for alleged suspicious transactions with two e-commerce platforms, keeping "the refund amount" on hold.

The mobile financial service (MFS) provider wants to reopen the accounts "on humanitarian grounds" as these accounts may have money from other sources than the refund amount from two e-commerce platforms, according to a letter sent to Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit (BFIU) by Nagad.

However, Nagad has already reactivated more than 700 accounts in the first phase after an extensive analysis and consultations with the authorities concerned, said a Nagad statement.

After seeing inconsistencies in transactions with two e-commerce platforms--sirajganjshop and aladiner prodip, Nagad has recently put more than 18,000 accounts on hold.

In its letter to BFIU, Nagad said the accounts will be reactivated gradually. "If any anomaly is found in the process, the intelligence unit will be informed about it in due time."

In its reaction, Nagad also said the accounts with satisfactory results are being reactivated in phases through ongoing consultations with the authorities, extensive analysis and scrutiny.

"In the ongoing process, steps have been taken to reactivate the rest of the suspended accounts with satisfactory results within the shortest possible time," it added.

"The customers are already enjoying the regular functionality with the reactivated accounts as well as all the exciting Nagad offers," the statement said.

On September 04, Nagad suspended these accounts suspecting fraudulent transactions with e-commerce sites and set sleuths for a probe.

It sent the list of these accounts to BFIU, law-enforcement agencies, including the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), and the cyber-crime, unit to investigate the transactions.

Tanvir A Mishuk, Managing Director of Nagad, earlier said these accounts had records of highly unusual transactions.

"Our system has identified these accounts. We have handed over the list to the agencies concerned who will investigate the matter," he said.

The commerce ministry last month sent a letter to the Bangladesh Bank, seeking information on the latest financial situation of nine e-commerce companies, including sirajganjshop.

BFIU, along with the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of police and the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), has started looking into the activities of 15 e-commerce companies for various irregularities, including money laundering, since July last. Sirajganjshop and Aladiner prodip were also on the list.

Several financial institutions, banks, and MFS providers banned transactions for 10 e-commerce platforms, including Evaly, Alesha Mart, Dhamaka, E-orange, Sirajganjshop, Aladiner Prodip, Qcoom, Boom Boom, Adyen Mart, and E-needs.

Bangladesh Bank and e-CAB, the association of e-commerce platforms, have suspended the membership of some of these e-commerce sites and begun scrutiny over some of these e-commerce platforms.

In mid-July this year, leading mobile financial service provider bKash suspended transactions through its channel to 10 e-commerce platforms, including sirajganjshop.

However, Nagad let their platform be used for payments by these e-commerce platforms. It also announced discount offer for shopping with these platforms.

In last two and a half years, Nagad acquired 55 million customers with a daily average transaction of more than Tk 7 billion.

Our DU Correspondent adds: A group of students of Dhaka University (DU) demanded that the authority concerned reactivate their Nagad accounts within 24 hours.

They also threatened to lay siege to the Nagad office tomorrow (Wednesday) if the accounts are not reactivated within the deadline.

The agitating students made the demands at a press conference held on Monday at the office of DU Journalists' Association (DUJA).

S.M. Rakibul Hasan Sarker, a student of Television, Film and Photography Department, read out a written statement on behalf of the agitating students.

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