Customs officials found sand in a container which was supposed to carry cotton at the Chattogram Port on Tuesday, said related sources.
Nur Uddin Milon, deputy commissioner of Audit, Investigation and Research, said Syed Traders, a Chattogram-based importing company, had declared the import of cotton worth Tk30 lakh from China.
The AGS Company, a clearing and forwarding (C&F) agent, submitted the required documents to the customs office to release the goods on October 16.
Sources said the consignment of cotton has been sent to the QNS Inland Container Depot in Chattogram's Export Processing Zone. But after examining the container, the customs officials found 916 bags of sand weighing 20 tonnes. The sample is being sent to laboratory for test.
Chattogram custom officials are investigating the incident to find out whether the importer was trying to launder money by importing sand in the name of cotton or the Chinese exporter cheated on the buyer.
Earlier, on October 9, the Chattogram Customs found sand in place of polyester yarn in a consignment at the Chattogram port.
The NZ Accessories Ltd, a Dhaka-based company, had declared the import of 100 percent polyester yarn worth Tk27.20 lakh from a Chinese company named Xinjtai Yameizhi Textile Company Ltd.