Al Amin : TOS Bond (private) Ltd has evaded over Tk 249 crore in duties by abusing the diplomatic bonded warehouse facility in five years, according to an investigation report of the National Board of Revenue (NBR).
According to diplomatic bonded rules, the diplomats and privileged foreign nationals purchase food stuffs (liquor, cigarettes and alcoholic products) and other goods from the firm with duty-free facility by taking no objection certificate from the Foreign Ministry.
But, the company sells the goods to others by misusing the bonded facility during the mentioned period, the report showed.
The company, however, refused the allegation.
The report carried out by the Customs Valuation and Internal Audit Commissionerate said that the firm imported 58 lakh liters of wines and around 18,000 Kg cigarette in last five years but it did not sell the goods by following the bonded rules.
The firm also did not preserve the accurate information about the purchased non-privileged or non-diplomatic persons and some information has been proved false.
For the unethical activities, the government has deprived revenues worth over Tk 249 crore, the report showed.
The audit authority issued several letters to the firm asking proper documents against the loopholes, but, it did not provide any paper in this regard, the report said.
Later, analyzing the register of In-to-Bond and Ex-to-Bond of the firm, the authority found that it entered several goods into a single number of In-to-Bond and Ex-to-Bond and there was no information of purchasing persons, the report added.
Even, the firm has several register books to hide the selling information and the firm failed to show the passbooks issued by the Foreign Ministry against the privileged persons, it said.
According to the import data of Oral Business Intelligence Software, the company imported about 15 lakh liters of liquor and about 456 kg of cigarettes through 96 bills of entry in 2016, on which the applicable duty is about Tk 67.5 crore and around 13.5 lakh liters of liquor through 82 bills of entry in 2017, on which the applicable duty was Tk 50 crore.
In 2018, through 73 bills of entry, 15 lakh liters of liquor and 7.5 thousand kg of cigarettes were imported and the applicable customs duty was Tk 44.5 crore and it imported 7.5 lakh liters of liquor in 2019 through 48 bills of entry and 10,500 kg of cigarettes, for which the applicable duty is Tk 28 crore.
In 2020, the company imported about 12 lakh liters of liquor, with a duty of about Tk 59 crore through 72 bills of entry.
Thus the way, the company evaded Tk 249,454,812 by importing 5,785,563 liters of liquor and 18,690 kg of cigarettes through 371 bills of entry in last five years, the NBR report showed.
Refusing the allegation, Shafiqur Rahman, Deputy General Manager (DGM) of the company, told The New Nation, “The customs valuation team conducted this audit.
In their audit they saw import data but no sales accounts.
They went on to levy duties on the goods that were imported.
They will not be able to see the sale, because they will not be able to see so many books and so many registers.”
“Besides, the team, carried out the audit, was not the main authority to take final decision.
Bond Commissionerate to decide whether there is any loophole or not,” he added.
“Stating that there was no duty evasion, he said, “The issue of evasion is completely false.
No loopholes here. An entry is made in the bond register after import of goods.
After the selling the goods, it is entered in the register again.
It is signed by an officer assigned by the Bond Commissionerate who stays here.