Ctg customs foil bid to launder Tk 1.6cr
Chattogram Customs House has seized a consignment on charges of laundering Tk 1.6 crore by exporting 22 times more goods than the declaration.
The consignment of RM Sourcing Bangladesh, a Dhaka-based buying house, was seized just before leaving from Chattogram port to Venezuela on Monday, customs officials said.
According to the documents, the company has opened a letter of credit (LC) of $7,486 with IFIC Bank for the purpose of exporting 6,086 pieces of T-shirt, short set and short pants to Royal Drone International Trading OPC of Venezuela.
In the bank documents, the US dollar's exchange rate against the Bangladeshi taka has been shown at 96.7.
Bangla Progressive Enterprise was in charge of shipping the consignment on behalf of the exporting company, according to the shipment documents.
Customs authority physically examined the consignment at the KDS inland container depot and found 137,116 pieces of T-shirts in the consignment, which is 22 times or 131,030 pieces more than the announcement.
Customs authority suspected that the company has tried to launder $161,166 or Tk 1.6 crore in the name of exporting goods.
Customs officials said that the money would not have come to the country if the consignment had been shipped.
Export-oriented companies enjoy duty-free access for importing raw materials.
As a result, RM Sourcing did not have to pay any tax on the raw materials used to make these goods.
On the other hand, the money will not come to the country as these products are not exported on paper.
"Now we are collecting the detail list of the goods," said Md Sharfuddin Miah, deputy commissioner of Custom House, Chattogram.
He said the exporter declared around six thousand pieces of garments items, which were actually 1.37 lakh pieces.
"A money laundering case will be filed against the company soon."
They will also investigate whether there had been any similar irregularities by the company in the past, he added.
According to the National Board of Revenue (NBR), RM Sourcing Bangladesh is a 100 per cent export-oriented company.
The company has exported a total of 89 consignments of various garment products to six countries in 2021.
Most of the products have been exported to Malaysia and Venezuela. The company also has buyers in the Philippines, the United Arab Emirates, France and Australia, NBR data said.
The destination of the currently seized consignment was Royal Drone International Trading in Venezuela.
In addition to this company, RM Sourcing has exported their products to 12 other companies of the six countries in last year, according to the documents.
Talking to The Daily Star, Mohammad Rajib Ahmed, managing director of RM Sourcing Bangladesh, said, "I am not aware of this consignment as I am out of the country. I came to the country a few days ago. I will be able to talk to the officers concerned and tell them the details."
He further said that it needs more time to say how it has happened.