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Duty evasion thru fake treasury challan identified at DCH

Jasim Uddin

A National Board of Revenue web site photo shows Dhaka Customs House A National Board of Revenue web site photo shows Dhaka Customs House

Incidence in dodging customs duty through submitting counterfeit treasury challan against import duties is increasing in the country, officials of the National Board of Revenue said.
They said that a number of clearing and forwarding agents and importers took release of imported goods without paying applicable duty by submitting fake treasury challans and other documents.
A recent investigation conducted by Customs Intelligence and Investigation Directorate of NBR identified some cases of duty evasion at Dhaka Customs House and recommended the revenue board for taking stern action against the alleged tax dodgers and prevent such incidences.
In this situation, the revenue board has decided to scrutinise the treasury challans forwarded at DCH for releasing imported goods to find out if any fake treasury challans were submitted, officials said.
A probe committee will be formed at DCH in this regard, they said.
According to CIID, they scrutinised only 17 shipments and found three incidences of duty evasion through submitting forged treasury challans.
In October, RS Enterprise Ltd, a C&F agent, released the consignments without paying duty, CIID officials said.
The C&F agent submitted fake documents including treasury challans to release the goods.
C&F agents and importers used to evade duty at different customs houses and customs stations through this technique, they said adding, they had information about such cases occurred earlier.
In a letter, CIID requested the DCH for forming a committee to check authenticity of treasury challans submitted by the importers earlier.
The customs intelligence wing of the NBR also recommended the revenue board for taking action to prevent such forgery in future.
A DCH official told New Age that such forgery happened mainly in releasing unaccompanied baggage, courier and other airfreight services as the taxation system is not automated for these types of imported goods.
‘We check treasury challan and other documents manually to ascertain if duties were paid for those goods. Absence of automation in tax payment system creates a room for such forgery as banks cannot confirm online about the status of tax payment for any particular import,’ he said.
In case of courier and unaccompanied baggage, the quantities of imported goods are not bigger but the number of imports huge, he said.
Hopefully, online tax payment system will be introduced for unaccompanied baggage and courier by March, he said, adding that currently only commercial cargo importers enjoy automated tax payment facility.
A CIID high official said that Chittagong Customs House had been able to prevent such incidences by introducing automation but other customs houses and stations lagged behind.
He said that in terms of amount dodged, the three incidences were not significant but the offence is very dangerous.
‘The government did not get any single penny for those imports. So such incidence needs to be stopped immediately,’ he said. 




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Duty evasion thru fake treasury challan identified at DCH

A National Board of Revenue web site photo shows Dhaka Customs House
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