- Ctg customs suspects the bidder forged bank seals and signatures
- Customs recommends binning all his bids, blacklisting for future
- Officials said a police case would be filed after final inquiry
- The accused denies allegations, points the finger at his opponents
Khalilur Rahman submitted pay orders for around Tk48 lakh to take part in three bids by the Chattogram Customs House. For two consignments, his rates were the highest too as everything looked almost usual and perfect.
But a bidding fraud unfolded as the Customs went for pay order verification at the bank concerned. Primary inquiry revealed that all the three pay orders for the three consignments amounted to only Tk350.
The auction office of the customs says such fraudulent activities expose bidding to serious financial risks, apart from the activities certainly being criminal offences.
"Our primary inquiry suggests it is a pay order fraud," said Mohammad Fakhrul Alam, commissioner at Customs House, Chattogram.
"We suspect the bidder Khalilur Rahman printed the bank documents on his own and forged official seals and signatures," said the commissioner. He said the Customs House had sent the pay order to encash, and a police case would be filed against Khalilur if he is found to have committed it.
The auction office has recommended cancelling all the bids submitted by Khalilur and blacklisting him from participating in any bidding in future. The customs house has also formed a three-member probe committee to look into the matter.
Customs put up imports for auction if the relevant parties do not release the consignments on time. Besides, products brought in the country with false declarations, fraud or duty evasion also end up being part of such biddings.
Estimating a price, the customs house prepares a catalogue for such consignments. Bidders have to submit the bids with 10% of their proposed prices against the catalogue paid up through pay orders to customs.
According to Khalilur, he took part in bids for three consignments of floor mats, PVC banner, and 180 CNG-run auto-rickshaws in May and June this year. His rates for the PVC banner and auto-rickshaws were the highest.
Enayet Karim, manager of Exim Bank Sheikh Mujib Road branch, said the customs house had sought details of three pay orders issued against Khalilur since the payment figures did not match.
When contacted, Khalilur categorically denied any fraud in the payment orders. "Those allegations are baseless. A syndicate made up all these to push me into the sidelines and away from customs auctions," he claimed.