The Chattogram Customs Bond Commissionerate has seized 205 tonnes of goods belonging to readymade garment company Clifton Group for abusing bond facility to evade taxes amounting to Tk4.5 crore.
Confirming the matter, Commissioner Mohammad Azizur Rahman of the commissionerate said, "Under the existing regulations, the Clifton Group was supposed to use a bonded warehouse for storing goods and raw material imported under the bond facility.
"However, commissionerate officials caught the company red-handed while they were trying to unload imported raw material from a warehouse owned by Amin Jute Mills Ltd on October 15. Later, we also found evidence of tax evasion amounting to Tk4.5 crore."
The official added that the seized goods - which were inventoried on October 16 and 17 - contained 131 tonnes of elastic, 25 tonnes of sewing threads and 49 tonnes of other material such as tag pins, interlining, gum tape, hangers, scissors, folded paper boxes, plastic ring sliders and rubbers.
Three warehouses have been sealed off so far and the commissionerate will decide on further action next week.
Responding to query, Clifton Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer MDM Mahiuddin Chowdhury said, "The seized goods were dumped nearly 20 years ago. So, there was no reason for us to inform the customs officials about it.
"We have reached out to the authorities about the issue. I believe that the whole debacle was caused by a lack of information."