Fake firms import 15 consignments, face no scanning at port
The importer whose two consignments were seized at Chittagong Port on Sunday for carrying contraband products had taken delivery of 15 consignments in 11 months without facing the mandatory scanning.
These consignments of “capital machinery” in 78 containers were imported from China in the last 11 months to January this year. The two firms which brought in the consignments however don't have any office or factory at the given addresses. The firms are owned by one Khorshed Alam.
According to the data of the scanning division of Chittagong Customs House, those 78 containers were delivered without the compulsory scanning. The scanning is mandatory when a loaded container is delivered without seal-breaking or physical inspection.
Both the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Directorate and Chittagong Customs House have launched investigation into the 15 consignments.
Moinul Khan, director-general of the Customs Intelligence, suspects an organised syndicate of criminals was involved in importing illegal or contraband goods in the name of capital machinery.
Containers carrying capital machinery or raw materials are usually allowed on-chassis delivery without seal-breaking or physical inspection to save time for the sake of the industrial sector, said AFM Abdullah Khan, commissioner of Chittagong Customs House.
Khan said the culprits might have taken advantage of this provision.
During a visit on Tuesday, no office of clearing and forwarding agent Rabeya & Sons, which cleared the consignments, was found at its given address. The C&F agent has another address shown on the customs' website but that too was found fake.
According to documents, the importer of nine of those consignments was Agro BD & JP of Keraniganj, Dhaka, and the rest was imported by Henan Anhui Agro LC of Khilkhet, Dhaka. But none of the addresses is valid.
The consignments were exported by Jam Raj Industries, China.
On February 5, the customs intelligence recovered huge quantity of contraband liquor, expensive televisions, cigarettes and photocopiers from the two consignments. The estimated value of the items in the containers could be more than Tk 100 crore, officials said.