Chattogram Customs has imposed a fine of Tk2 crore on AS Trading Co for submitting false declarations during the release of two imported Brand New Land Rover Defender 110 X from the Chattogram port.
In addition to the fine, the company has to pay unpaid tax amounting to Tk91.56 lakh, as per the directive issued by Chattogram Customs.
According to customs, its officials unearthed discrepancies in the documents furnished by AS Trading Co, as they failed to accurately specify the complete model of the imported vehicles. Instead of correctly identifying them as Brand New Land Rover Defender 110 X, the documents merely stated "Brand New Land Rover Defender 110," which represents a lower-priced model to evade duties.
Customs Commissioner Faizur Rahman told TBS that the importer had deliberately provided false information regarding the import of two brand-new cars. Upon the revelation of this deception, the company sought permission to re-export the vehicles; however, AS Trading Co had not acquired the necessary re-export permit from the National Board of Revenue.
"Consequently, we imposed a fine on the company due to the clear evidence of duty evasion."
Swapan Kumar Barua, the proprietor of the C&F agent Purba and Brothers responsible for the release of the two vehicles, declined to comment regarding the import based on false declarations.
AS Trading Co is a subsidiary of the Chattogram-based industrial conglomerate, Masud Group. It has been operating a car business in Dhaka under the name Azlan Motors for the past two years, and the two luxury cars were imported for sale.
Mohammad Nasir, the managing director of Masud Group, alleged, "Despite possessing all the legal documentation for the import, our company was accused of tax evasion amounting to Tk91.56 lakh and fined Tk2 crore for the import. We sought permission to re-export the vehicles but were denied by the NBR."
According to customs documents, AS Trading Co imported two Brand New Land Rover Defender 110 X vehicles from the UK in two consignments in October 2022.
Mohammed Masud Karim, owner of AS Trading Co, affirmed, "We did provide customs with the necessary information regarding the imported car's model. Our predicament arose primarily because we did not include option grade information in the documents. Due to the extended delay of the two cars at the port, we incurred substantial financial losses."
"We will challenge the customs' order in court through an appeal," he added.