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Fri, Oct 18, 2019 4:54 PM
Thu, Sep 12, 2019 1:01

Meghna Group involved in smuggling

media

Custom officials claimed that Meghna Group is desperately trying to destroy the growing cement sector in the country by abusing bond facilities through its Unique Cement Industries (UCI).

Meghna Group is allegedly involved in smuggling and money laundering through the abuse of the bond facility, creating a negative impact on the market, especially the cement sector, sources at the Customs Department claimed.

In a recent investigation, Customs Bond Commissionerate, Dhaka (DCC) found involvements of six ventures of Meghna Group in misusing the bond facility while two others entities of the business group were involved in anomalies worth at least Tk 140 million, according to customs intelligence.

Custom officials claimed that Meghna Group is desperately trying to destroy the growing cement sector in the country by abusing bond facilities through its Unique Cement Industries (UCI).

Six companies are enjoying the bond facilities, according to customs data. Data show that customs officials discovered illegal sales of bonded products worth Tk 9.64 crore belonging to United Sugar Mills (USM) in February this year.

Earlier, the customs officials found anomalies of Tk 4.10 crore in the same firm in October last year.

DCC officials found irregularities worth of Tk 19.26 lakh in external audit of Tanvir Food Products, a consumer venture of Meghna group. Officials said other four bond-licensed companies under the group remained out of custom scanner due to ‘misuse of power’.

Customs officials completed the audit at UCI, the only bond-licensed firm in country’s cement sector. However, the officials were compelled to release the firm from audit scanning.

Besides, two other bond-licensed entities of Meghna Group --- United Fiber Industries Limited and Meghna Shipbuilders and Dockyards Ltd--- have remained out of audit for a long time.

Customs officials were forced to release Tanvir Polymer Industries from the audit scanning in August 2017 event after the company was involved in irregularities.

National Board of Revenue (NBR) sources informed that United Sugar Mills Ltd produces non-purified salts in the level of Fresh Sugar. The company had also abused the bond facilities. The firm illegally sold the imported raw materials to dodge taxes, according to report of customs intelligence released in February this year.

The firm stored imported raw materials worth of Tk 10 crore to sell illegally, according to customs probe report. The government was deprived of around Tk 4 crore in revenue for the abuse of the bond facility.

It’s worth mentioning that United Sugar Mills was established in Meghna Ghat area in 2005. The company received the bond license two years later as a part of promoting the sugar sector in the country.

However, the company started to use bond facilities to do illegal business. Dhaka Customs Commissionerate found around 2,565 tons of extra raw materials in USM warehouse where the government missed 4.26 crore of taxes.