Concrete blocks arrive from UAE instead of steel scrap

Suspicious consignment sparks money laundering probe

Staff Correspondent . Chattogram | Published: 23:53, Nov 24,2020


The anti-money laundering unit of Chittagong Custom House would investigate into a suspected incident of money flight as 115 tonnes of concrete blocks arrived from UAE at Chattogram port against the declaration of 536 tonnes of steel scrap.

Chittagong Customs House authorities on Tuesday seized 20 containers of the consignment to scrutinise whether the Bangladeshi importer tried to siphoned off Tk 1.45 crore or was cheated the by the UAE exporter, said Rezaul Karim, assistant commissioner of Customs Audit, Investigation and Research unit.

The importer, Sakura Steel Limited, located at Sinduria Para of Mainamati Bazar Comilla Burichang, opened a letter of credit with Rupali Bank Limited›s Dilkusha branch to import the steel scrap.

The value of the product in the LC was mentioned $ 1,71,574 which is equivalent to about Tk 1,45,00,000.

On April 21, 20 containers arrived at Chattogram port from Jabel Ali port in Dubai by MV Smiley Lady ship carrying scrap material for steel industry, as mentioned in the document.

The containers were sent to CCTCL Depot (private off dock) for quick disposal as they are industrial raw materials.

But the importer neither took any action to unload the goods nor submit any document to Custom House authorities.

On the basis of secret information, the Audit, Investigation and Research team of Chittagong Custom House took initiative to check the containers and found 115 tonnes of commercially cheap or low-cost concrete blocks instead of 537 tonnes of steel scrap in the container.

Assistant commissioner Rezaul Karim said that the anti-money laundering unit of Chittagong Custom House would investigate whether there was an attempt to smuggle out Tk 1.45 crore or the exporter had cheated the local company.

He said that no case had been filed yet, and legal action would be taken after investigation against all those involved in the incident.

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