The Department of Immigration and Passport (DIP) sits today with IRIS Corporation Berhad officials to decide what to do with the Malaysian company for failing to return Tk 50 crore of the government it was holding.
The DIP on January 4 issued a 48-hour ultimatum to the outsourcing company to return Bangladesh the money it had collected as passport fees and kept for more than a year.
More than one month had gone by and IRIS did not even bother to respond to the deadline.
“IRIS took about 2,00,000 lakh printed passports from the DIP until December. According to our calculations, they had collected at least Tk 50 to 60 crore. But they had paid only some money,” a DIP official told The Daily Star preferring not to be named.
As per contracts with the DIP, IRIS had collected passport fees from the Bangladeshi expatriates in Saudi Arabia and the UAE to give them machine readable passports.
The money was supposed to be deposited in the accounts of Bangladesh missions in Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
IRIS has not deposited the money to the missions' accounts regularly.
Meanwhile, its contracts with the DIP had ended last month.
When asked as to why IRIS ignored the ultimatum, DIP DG Brig Gen Masud Rezwan said the company was keeping touch with him regularly.
“They [IRIS] have at least a Tk-100-crore business with us. Besides, we are not paying their fees. So, they must pay our money,” he told The Daily Star yesterday, adding that IRIS would reveal an “accurate calculation” of the money they have in today's meeting.
The amount IRIS was not paying would be Tk 20 crore tops, he added.
Asked what the DIP would do to realise the money if the Malaysian company failed to pay again, Brig Gen Masud Rezwan declined to make any comment.