Daraz illegally selling Amazon and Netflix gift cards
KATHMANDU: The popular e-commerce company ‘Daraz’ in Nepal’s online market has been found to be trading ‘illegal’ products from its platform. Video content platforms including Netflix and Amazon Prime Video are not available in Nepal. However, it is now clear that gift cards registered from India, the US, Canada and European countries are also being traded openly on Daraz’s website.
What is a Gift Card?
‘Gift Card’ is like a recharge card. Buying a ‘gift card’ from a ‘Daraz’ is like buying a PIN number for a phone recharge card. After you buy a gift card, the seller will give you a code. And, to redeem that code, you need to open a new account from a country where Netflix is available.
“Since that process is not available from Nepal, it can only be done using a Virtual Private Network (VPN),” said an individual involved in the business. “For that, money is going out every day through Hundi and online transactions.”
Who does this business?
Someone who created a Facebook page called ‘Virtual Gift Card Nepal’ is selling gift cards through it. He said that only ‘Euro Card’ is available and informed that the accounts worth 15, 25 and 50 euros are available. The value of those accounts is Rs 2,720, Rs 4,520 and Rs 9,050 respectively.
However, he avoided answering how he got access to the account. This is just one example. Hundreds of such advertisements are now scattered on social media and on the internet.
Thus, Daraz is carrying out these sales openly from its platform, lured by the advertisements seen on social media and the internet.
Is it legal?
It is illegal to try to distribute services through illegal means that are not usually available in Nepal. “Since this is done through friends and relatives living abroad, it is not a legal means.” said Lokraj Sharma, Director of the Department of Information and Technology.
Baburam Aryal, a lawyer working in the field of cyber and internet rights, says that it is a complete violation of the law to sell and distribute things that are not available in any country through ‘third party’.
“Daraz cannot trade through dollars in Nepal, We need to pay Netflix in dollars which cannot be done here. Therefore, one has to ask a ‘third party’ for payment from another country. So, providing services here but taking payments from ‘third party’ countries is a violation of the law.” explained Advocate Aryal.
Daraz itself does not sell goods. However, being a platform that is used for this, they should be answerable and have a sense of responsibility, He said, “Daraz should be aware of the law and should also be responsible for guiding similar platforms.”
The Amazon Prime Video and Netflix ‘Gift Card’ advertisement is still found on the Daraz website. It seems to be focusing on the profits from these illegal trades, being ignorant of the law.
When asked about Daraz’s opinion on this, Salina Nakarmi, Head of Marketing, informed that she is not allowed to talk about it.