Illegal E-Commerce

Daraz sells illegal ‘loaded Gmail’ accounts from other countries

KATHMANDU: E-commerce companies are gradually changing the shopping habits of Nepalese lately. Although people in all parts of the country do not have equal access to the Internet, the number of people going to markets and shops has dropped dramatically among those who have access to proper internet facilities. Online shopping saves time, facilitates return and exchange of goods, and one does not have to move out during the COVID-19 pandemic, and engage with crowds. 

Is it appropriate for a company that is providing so many facilities to practice and promote illegal methods of sale, distribution, publicity, and use? 

Daraz is considered one of the pioneers of online shopping in Nepal. In recent times, it has been selling not only items that are not available in Nepal but also e-mail accounts registered in other countries with foreign currency deposits. 

It is surprising to hear of ‘Sales of Google Accounts registered through personal details of citizens of other countries’, which is being done by Daraz. Not only this, but such advertisements on their website also contain advertisements and information such as the use of Virtual Private Network (VPN), buying availability of accounts registered in other countries, and availability of foreign currency.  

Daraz, which trades in OTT’s illegal gift cards such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, is delivering accounts registered abroad from its platform to homes in Nepal, which can only be operated illegally.

Google does not have an office in Nepal, nor does it provide paid services through any medium. However, the recent sale of loaded Google or Gmail accounts registered in Nepal by sending money abroad through illegal channels shows that Daraz is running away from its responsibility.

What is loaded Gmail? 

Loaded Gmail refers to Google accounts that have a fixed amount of money deposited. Google has included a lot of free apps on its platform. However, there are also many apps that can be purchased for a fee. 

As there is no legal basis to send money directly to Google from Nepal, Nepalese do not have access to such services. However, Nepalese have started using the loaded Gmail account that Daraz is selling from its platform. 

Selling an account registered in any other country with money from Nepalese is a violation of the law. Not only that, as there is no means of direct trade from Nepal, currency is also likely to go to foreign countries through Hundi and other illegal means through ‘third party’ countries. 

This is illegal: Nepal Government  

Director-General of the Department of Commerce, Supplies and Consumer Protection Netra Prasad Subedi, said that the sale and distribution of goods registered from other countries and not seen within legal scopes cannot be distributed.

“We have taken action against Daraz several times on various issues,” he said. “We will investigate and take necessary action.”

An expert has informed that this is being done with the help of friends and relatives living abroad.

“Buy with us if you need to, payment is difficult even if you have friends abroad. You can also use Hundi or digital payment gateway from Nepal.” This clearly shows how much money is exiting Nepal through illegal means. It is evident that providing a platform for such activities will directly increase tax fraud and illegal activities.  

Experts say that you need to know what’s going on on your platform. “It is against the law to sell or distribute something that is not available in the country. Daraz should be aware of what is happening on its platform,” says advocate Ram Hari Nepal. “Services can only be sold and bought in Nepal if the company is registered after fulfilling all necessary criteria. It is a crime to sell accounts registered in other countries, that too those services that are not provided by Google itself in Nepal.” 

Daraz is also aware of the wrongdoings from his platform. Salina Nakarmi, the marketing chief of Daraz, did not seem keen to comment. On messaging the official Facebook page of Daraz, the company’s website has informed that the available materials will be displayed only after the company verifies them.





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