DCII seeks documents from WB about its 16 tax-free vehicles

DHAKA- Customs intelligence has sought some documents, including pass-books of 16 vehicles, from the World Bank (WB) on allegation of misusing the duty-free facilities.

"We have sought to know the whereabouts of these tax-free vehicles from the country director of the World Bank within the next seven days," director general of the Directorate of Customs Intelligence and Investigation (DCII) Mainul Khan told BSS at his office here today.

According to the Bangladesh's law, Khan said foreigners working here and the aid agencies use tax-free vehicles and they need to take a pass-book from DCII.

"We've sought the documents and information in a letter sent to the WB country director," he added.

Through its intelligence information and DCII's own investigation, it was found that those 16 tax-free vehicles were imported into Bangladesh four-five or more years ago. Those vehicles were used but the WB did not give any specific information about the whereabouts of the vehicles, he added.

"Information about these vehicles has been sought. There is entry about the import of the vehicles but there is no information related to handover of the vehicles. It is violation of customs rules," said DCII director general.

As per the rules, Khan said the aid agencies or foreigners who use the tax-free vehicles would hand over the vehicles to customs authorities before the end of their work.

Or they can hand over the vehicles to persons with similar status or can auction the vehicles in presence of customs authorities but permission must be taken from customs authorities in this regard, he said, adding that if the vehicles are sold to any local citizen permission must be taken from the customs authorities and duties and tax must be paid.

DCII has issued a notice seeking information about these 16 vehicles.NBR sought information about the users of the vehicles-when they came to Bangladesh and when they left here. It is assumed that the users left Bangladesh after selling the vehicles to any third party, Khan said, adding that if it had happened so, the WB country director has the responsibility.

"Legal process will have to be initiated to seize the vehicles for sake of investigation. If benefits were given through selling the vehicles by the users, measures will be taken as per the Customs Law 1969 and Money Laundering Prevention Act, 2012," said the DCLL director general.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)