The Customs Intelligence Investigation Directorate (CIID) arrested a man named Abdul Motaleb for laundering Tk1,000 crore.
Motaleb used to import goods by making false declarations through fake letters of credit (LC) under non-existent companies, according to Director-General of the CIID Abdur Rauf.
Sixteen money laundering cases had been filed against Motaleb, owner of Henan Anhui Agro LC and Agro BD and JP, by the CIID over the years. The accused was a fugitive for a long time.
The CIID official said a group had been evading tax by importing products through false declarations with the help of bank officials, clearing and forwarding agents, and others for a long time.
According to the case statement, after giving a declaration to bring capital machinery in 12 containers, Henan Anhui Agro LC and Agro BD & JP brought in cigarettes, LED televisions, photocopiers, and alcohol, which falls under the definition of money laundering and smuggling
The CIID filed a case in this connection with an accusation of smuggling Tk140 crore in 2017.
A further investigation revealed that the companies had earlier unloaded 78 containers against 15 LCs in the same way. The companies every time used the same bank and same C&F agents.
Abdul Motaleb had used the national identity card (NID) of another person named Khorshed Alam instead of his own when opening an account in the bank. However, he used his picture while opening the account with the help of bank officials. Motaleb later obtained a value-added tax (VAT) registration certificate through forgery.
In November 2019, 15 more cases were filed against the two companies with Paltan Police Station for smuggling Tk870 crore.
Eleven people were named as accused in the cases. Abdul Motaleb is the key accused in all of them.