Meghna Group evades taxes worth Tk 1,500cr

Under-invoicing in powdered milk import, ACC probe silenced

Staff Correspondent

15th September, 2019 11:27:34 printer

Meghna Group evades taxes worth Tk 1,500cr

Meghna Group has allegedly dodged taxes worth Tk 1,500 crore and laundered money, causing huge loss to the country’s economy.

An allegation of evading a huge amount of revenue by the company remains pending with the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) for five years, sources said.

Tanveer Food Ltd, a concern of Meghna Group, allegedly laundered the money through opening fake Letter of Credits (LCs). The company opened LCs for importing powdered milk, but it abused the system to siphon off money abroad.

But the anti-graft watchdog is mysteriously indifferent towards the incident.

Md Zainul Abedin Shebly, director of ACC, said the Commission earlier launched an investigation into the alleged tax evasion by the company. As part of the process, Meghna Group chairman and Tanveer Food managing director Mostafa Kamal was grilled on October 27, 2014.

Shebly said he quizzed Meghna Group chairman in connection with tax evasion of Tk 1,500 crore.

During the investigation, Mostafa Kamal showed some documents related to milk powder import, including LCs and clearing and forwarding documents.

The ACC asked for more documents but the Meghna Group chairman is yet to comply with the directive, said Shebly.

Sources said Meghna Group continues to siphon off money abroad through fake LCs and under-invoicing.

Tanveer Food Ltd mainly imports milk powders from Australia, New Zealand, Denmark, Switzerland, France, Belgium and the Netherlands.

From 2009 to 2010, Tanveer Food reportedly sent Tk 1,500 crore to the exporting companies through hundi, an illegal money transfer channel. The company in connivance with a section of unscrupulous customs officials laundered the money abroad.

A renowned company imported milk powder at $4,400 per tonne while Tanveer Food paid only $2,700 per tonne, says a report a dated July 11, 2011.

Ecoval Dairy Trade of Australia says a Bangladeshi company imported milk powder at $3,790 per tonne on July 21, 2011. But, Tanveer Food procured milk powder at $2,480 per tonne. It means the company used under-invoice to the tune of $1,310 per tonne of powdered milk.

Meghna Group managed to launder $65,500 as against the import of every 50 tonnes, sources said.

 

The company dodged a total of Tk 1,500 crore in revenue during a period from 2009 to 2010, sources added.


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