Bangladeshi customs officials uncover misdeclaration of goods and money laundering

Customs officials at the Bangladeshi port of Chattogram have filed charges against four owners of two companies for misdeclaration of imported goods and money laundering.

The charges are part of a clampdown on customs violations introduced by the Bangladeshi authorities a year ago.

Consignments seized

Misdeclaration of goods emerged when customs officials seized two consignments of cigarettes worth around US$1.5 million.

One importer, Grambangla Food Corporation, had declared its consignment as raw materials for textile manufacturing while the other trader, N Islam Enterprise, declared its shipment of cigarettes as machinery.

Duty payable on imported machinery and textile goods is a maximum 3 per cent whereas the rate for cigarettes can be up to 600 per cent.

Shell companies

Both importers appear to be shell companies, operating with forged documents purportedly showing fraudulent trade licences, business addresses and suppliers’ credit references.

Customs officials also found that the companies had laundered around US$250 million through money exchange houses.

Categories: Trade Based Financial crimes News

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