The National Board of Revenue (NBR) has detected some 10 garment factories those were laundering money and dodging duty in the name of import of raw materials under free of charge (FoC) facility.
Those factories are accused of laundering of around Tk 20 crore and evading revenue of Tk 185 crore in last two fiscal years.The revenue authorities have directed the Directorate of Customs Intelligence and Investigation (CIID) for taking necessary steps and filing cases against the garment factory owners. CIID has already received the approval from the revenue authorities to file cases against nine out of the 10 garment factories, an official said.
NBR earlier detected some gross violations in foreign exchange transactions of the garment factories in question, which triggered the suspicions about money laundering.
“A number of garment factory owners are involved in money laundering,” said an NBR official, adding “The issue is being taken care of.”
Some garment industries imported raw materials without LC and under the FoC as the Customs Intelligence has been vigilance against money laundering, NBR officials said.
They also used to import goods through acknowledge-ment of bills of entry and without the letters of credit (LCs) under the FoC facility.
According to the import policy order article 24(18), the FoC provision will allow importing raw materials for only four months, which is determined on the basis of last year’s export performance that should be issued by the relevant lien banks and in the case of new factories, they can import raw materials for only six months out of the annual production capacity.The Customs Intelligence also has found the violation of the Import Policy Order article 24(18) and some of the factories in question were shut 2-3 years ago.
During investigations, SM Hafizur Rahman, general manager of Miswar Hosiery Mills Ltd of Fatullah, told the Customs Intelligence officials that the factory was doing subcontracting work before it was shut down two/three years ago.
The CIID official also found out that Miswar Hosiery Mills Ltd’s lien bank didn’t issue any acknowledgement letter on the factory’s export performance.
That was a major violation in the foreign exchange transactions rule, CIID pointed out in its investigation report.
At the same time, the factory has violated the Money Laundering Prevention Act, 2012 article 2 by not using the banking channel for making payment against their imported goods, CIID report added.
According to the NBR record, Miswar Hosiery is accused of laundering $542,895 and dodging revenue of around Tk 171,167,413 in the last two fiscal years.
CIID was asked to file cases against the factory’s Managing Director Md. Shamim Ahmed and directors Noor Jahan Begum and Md. Mohshin Ali under the Money Laundering Prevention Act, 2012.
NBR found that Asian Garments Industry Limited located in East Rampura of Dhaka laundered $665,947 and dodged revenue of TK 374,616,828 in two years.
CIID will soon file cases against the factory’s Managing Director Mohammad Shahin and Chairman Jakia Parvin under the Money Laundering Prevention Act, 2012.
Gazipur-based Saad Fashion Wear Limited reportedly laundered $199,513 and evaded revenue of Tk 63,412,940. CIID was asked to sue the factory’s Managing Director Mohammad Ashraful Alam and Chairman Khushbu Hossain Sumona under the Money Laundering Prevention Act, 2012.
Capri Apparels Limited of Tongi in Gazipur laundered $48,358 and evaded revenue Tk 7,348,489. NBR asked CIID for filing cases against its Managing Director Md. Mojammel Hosen and directors Shayla Hosen Shampa, Tanjim Hosen Romeo and Farhin Hosen Maisha in this connection. Meanwhile, Capri Garments Limited laundered $193,097.77 and dodged revenue TK 38,722,880.
The revenue authority directed CIID to file cases under the Money Laundering Prevention Act, 2012 against its Director Md. Mojammel Hosen and its directors Mosarrof Hosen, Sakhawat Hosen and Rezaul Hosen.
Lilac Fashion Wear Limited of Savar reportedly laundered $539,595.60 and dodged revenue of Tk 326,713,037. However, the approval for filing case against its Managing Director and Chairman M. Ershad Hossain and its directors Md Jakir Hossain and Md. Mojibur Rahman is still pending.
Fashion Create Apparels Limited, located at Lalpara in Chattogram, is being accused of laundering $86,031 and dodging tax amounting to Tk 14,649,319.
The factory’s Managing Director Shahed Sayeed, Chairman Abul Kashem, Directors Monjurul Alam Chowdhury, Kabir Qureshi, Azom Sayeed and Mamun Qureshi will be sued for the alleged money laundering and tax dodging.
Chattogram-based Apparels Options (Pvt) Ltd was found laundering $31,200 and evading tax revenue of Tk 6,773,361. CIID is preparing to file cases under against the factory’s managing director Kader Nawaz Chowdhury and director Rumi Chowdhury.
Chattogram-based DK Apparels Ltd allegedly laundered $39,665 and dodged Tk 25,754,379. It’s Managing Director Dipak Kumar Dutta and Director Koli Dutta will have to face cases under the Money Laundering Prevention Act, 2012. Naab Fashions Ltd, located in Dhaka’s Khilkhet, laundered $51,396.87 and dodged Tk 5,96,08,565 in duty. CIID was asked to file cases against Naab Fashions’s Managing Director Naab Fashions Ltd Jesmin Akter and Chairman Kamal Hossain.
Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) Vice- President (Finance) Mohammed Nasir told the daily sun “No one is above the law. If anyone violated the law, he or she should be responsible for that.”