Authorities are investigating whether the importer had been attempting to launder money
The Audit, Investigation and Research (AIR) team of the Chittagong Custom House has found 115 tonnes of low-cost concrete blocks against the import declaration of 536 tonnes of scrap in 20 containers imported by Sakura Steel Limited, an importer in Cumilla, from the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Confirming the matter, Rezaul Karim, an assistant commissioner, AIR Branch, Chittagong Custom House, said as the product is a raw material for industry, the containers were sent to Chattogram Container Transportation Company Ltd Depot (private off-dock) for immediate unloading.
Although the consignment arrived at the port on 21 April, 2019, the importer did not unload the goods and did not submit a document to the customs authorities to collect the consignment.
Sakura Steel Ltd opened a letter of credit (LC) at Rupali Bank's Dilkusha branch to import 536 tonnes of scrap from the UAE. As per the LC, the goods were worth $1,71,574 equivalent to around Tk1.45 crore, he added.
The Anti-Money Laundering Unit of Chittagong Custom House will investigate whether the importer was attempting to launder money – around Tk1.45 crore – or the exporter was cheating the local company, he said further.