Stunning case of import fraud

Customs Intelligence has developed a scheme developed by a trade union to import consumer goods on behalf of capital equipment in an operation that reduced escape, Money and fraud.

Using false documents and addresses, consumer goods valued at 1,040 crore were brought to the country from China, according to the Customs Information and Investigations Directorate.

The trustee filed the project to import the items into 90 containers in favor of two companies that do not exist and have even managed to bring in 78. The last 12 containers were captured by the ICID In March of this year.

The 12 containers had cigarettes, LED televisions, old photocopiers, alcohol and milk powder whose value was Tk 138 crore, according to CIID.

ICID assumed that the containers that disappeared had a similar inventory and thus were worth Tk 1,040 crore, including duties and taxes.

But only the Tk 3.47 crore was sent through the legal bank channel in order to import machinery for the poultry mills, meaning that the rest of the amount was sent by hundi, An illegal money sending channel, according to the National Board of Revenue Police Bureau.

The ICID suspect as much as Tk 267 crore has been siphoned to the overseas because of the false declaration of the goods.

Analysts have raised questions about the huge increase in capital machinery imports for the past few years and this was a case that supports their demand.

Data from the Bank of Bangladesh show that imports of capital goods increased from 44.21 per cent to almost $ 4.5 billion (according to the LC Regulation) during the period July to May 2017 Compared to the same period last year.

Detectives found that the containers were imported by two companies: M / S Henan Anhui Agro LC of Khilkhet and M / S Agro BD & JP of Keraniganj.

Importers have opened letters of credit with IFIA Bank's subsidiary Naya Paltan using fake addresses and photos.

A person named Abdul Motaleb, originally from Patira under the Dumi union of Khilkhet, Dhaka, was represented as the owner of the importing companies.

But a picture of a person named Korthhed Alam was used as Motaleb to open the LC to IFIC. ICID stated that false information was provided in the Know Your Customer (KYC) form to open the bank account.

False business licenses were also used to obtain VAT registration, ICID said in a letter dated 30 June.

"The massive forgery took place in the preparation of documents for the opening of accounts and the LC," said ICID in the letter, while neglecting the duty on some senior officials Of IFIC Bank.

The clearing agent and shipping has been shown as Rabeya & Sons; The detectives could not find the office of Rabeya & Sons. The C & F agent obtained his license from Jessore, but an address in Chittagong was used in the import documents.

Henan Anhui Agro and Agro BD & JP have obtained their VAT registration as suppliers and importers.

But in the documents submitted to the Chittagong customs office, importing companies were represented as manufacturers to justify the declaration of imports of capital machinery.

The detectives also found negligence in the performance of duties of the Chittagong customs officials and the port of Chittagong during the delivery of the shipments of import.

If the customs officers responsible for the assessment of import shipments have examined the authenticity of the VAT – related documents, the counterfeiting would have been detected at that time and imports could not have been detected Take place, they said.

Not only that, shipments were delivered without mandatory verification or physical inspection.

"There is an indication of organized crime. It is not possible to make such a large fraud to smuggle goods without the involvement of some officials," the letter said. A thorough investigation can be undertaken to identify officials and take legal action, he said.

Customs intelligence also recommended to take action against C & F agent Rabeya and Sons according to rule.

"We will file several cases related to money laundering and violation of customs laws after obtaining the approval of the highest," said ICID Director General Moinul Khan.

Contacted, Deputy Managing Director of IFIC Bank and company head Shah Md Moinuddin said that the two companies had opened 17 LC at the Naya Paltan branch of the bank. The LC value was Tk 3.72 crore ($ 464,546).

Among the LCs, the invoices of the entries were submitted to the bank against 15 LC after having erased the goods imported from the customs, he added, adding that the articles and the harmonized system codes mentioned in the invoices of the entries Correspond to the elements mentioned in the LC.

Later, all information regarding the LC settlement was sent to the Bank of Bangladesh, Moinuddin said, adding that payments for two LCs were not given due to an allegation of " 39; irregularities.

"So, no incidence of whitening one thousand crore taka took place through the IFIC Bank".

Due to the bank's negligence regarding the KYC form, he stated that four officials, including the branch manager, were temporarily suspended for a fair investigation by the bank.

"Administrative and judicial proceedings are now taking place," he added.

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