As many as 769 vehicles have been allegedly imported without LC sparking deep sensation in the business arena.
Valued exceeding Tk 200 crore, the vehicles were released in Chattogram and Mongla ports recently.
Sources said the importers should have opened LC of Tk 200 crore for importing 769 vehicles but some exporters in Japan including two Bengali origin sent the vehicles out of the way.
Many banks are now unwilling to open LC for the imported vehicles, putting the importers and exporters both in trouble.
Sources said Bangladesh automobile sector largely depends on import with rise in brand new vehicles in the recent years. However, influx of reconditioned vehicles goes on unabated.
In both ends, there are some Bangladeshi traders who enjoy high confidence and bypass rules for the sake of uninterrupted export and import.
Although importers are supposed to open LC prior to shipment of vehicles by exporters, the recent incident is marked by sheer deviation.
Various banks have refrained from LC amid dollar crisis in post Covid 19 context triggered by Russia-Ukraine warfare.
Bangladesh Bank has restricted LC except import of essential and food items.
It is learnt that the importers tried to open LC paying whole amount of money but failed. Finding no way out, they bypassed the procedure.
Arrival of 769 vehicles by Lotus Leader vessel of Japanese shipping company NYK Line and Malaysia Star vessel of ECL shipping have surprised people concerned.
The imported vehicles include Prado, Harrier, Primeo and Allion.
In addition, two vehicles carrying 1,300 more vehicles left Japan for Bangladesh on November 11 and 14.
A leader of the Bangladesh Reconditioned Vehicles Importers and Dealers Association (BARVIDA) has allegedly imported majority of LC-less vehicles. Dr Zahir, Mesbahuddin and some other Bangladeshi expatriate businessmen are involved in the export.
Mohibur Rahman, an official of ECL Shipping License, did not receive phone call of journalist to make comment on the issue.
Meanwhile, Mohammad Jashim Uddin, officer of NYK Shipping License, claimed that the vehicles were imported on the basis of LC.
Wishing anonymity, an official of Chattogram Port said they will allow the vehicles for 30 days expiry of which will result in a request to customs to go for auction.
An official of customs claimed to have heard of the incident, adding nothing can be said without seeing documents.