Home » Exclusive News » More

Saddam Hossain Imran

The Report

Duty evasion thru’ under-invoicing as iPhones imported

২০১৫ অক্টোবর ০৬ ১৬:০৭:৪৫
Duty evasion thru’ under-invoicing as iPhones imported

Not only that mobile phone sets of different brands including iPhone, HTC and Samsung were brought in illegally to evade tax. Tax evasion happened in the case of import of such sets, especially iPhones, through under-invoicing.

As the prices of the sets are high, a section of dishonest customs officials were managed to help in bringing in these sets at lower costs through under-invoicing. This inflicted revenue loss on the government to the extent of a crore taka.

The Report ran a news item titled ‘Govt losing revenue on influx of iPhones’ on August 28 last. After that, The Report continued its investigation. The long one month of investigation reveals some pieces of hair-raising information about who are importing the iPhones, how they are importing and from whom.

The investigation reveals that the Compuster Private Limited (CPL), an associate organization of the Union Group, brought in iPhones through the legal channel. Apart from it, one or two iPhones were brought in through international courier services also.

Though this organization is not the recognized iPhone importer, it is importing the sets from a third party in Singapore. Besides, this organization imports Micromax sets and its sister concern Cellular Mobile Private Ltd (CMPL) imports Microsoft sets (formerly Nokia).

According to information available from the Dhaka Customs, in the fiscal 2014-15 two crore 59 lakh and 95 thousand mobile sets were imported into the country. They included about 5,500 iPhones. All the iPhones except one or two were imported by the CPL.

The Report received some copies of the recent bills of entry of the CPL used for importing the iPhones. An analysis of them reveals that the importer resorted to under-invoicing in collusion with some dishonest customs officials for importing them.

Under-invoicing happens, when the price, on which the customs duty is levied, is declared less. Dishonest importers apply this trick mainly to evade customs duty.

The import prices of the same model of iPhones imported the same day have shown a big gap because of the under-invoicing. This wide gap is untenable.

The CPL imported 70 sets of iPhone-Six of the 1524 model on July 7. The prices that were declared for levying the customs duty were put at Tk 22 lakh 22 thousand. The average price of a set stood at 407 US dollars (one dollar is equal to Tk 78). The same day 140 sets of iPhone of the same model were imported at the cost of Tk 50 lakh 38 thousand. The average price of a set stood at 461 US dollars. The same day 40 sets of iPhone of the same model were imported at Tk 16 lakh 9 thousand. The average price of each set stood at 515 dollars. The bill of entry number of these chalans is: 184618. That means, the prices of the iPhones imported in three phases under the same number were put at three different levels.

The prices of 10 sets of 16GB iPhone imported on December 2 last year were declared at Tk 4 lakh 74 thousand for levying the customs duty. The average price of each set was 607 US dollars. The same chalan showed the prices of 60 sets of iPhone of the same model at Tk 3 crore 79 lakh. The average price was 809 US dollars. This makes it amply clear that the CPL imported the sets through the legal channel but evaded huge customs duty through under-invoicing. And some dishonest customs officials helped them in doing this in breach of the related law.

The investigation also reveals that the CPL imported the iPhones from a company named G-Next based in Singapore. This G-Next is owned by Indian national Rajesh Vimsaria, Australian national Prem Chand, Nepalese national Kailash and Bangladeshi national Rakibul Kabir. This Rakibul Kabir is also the Managing Director of the Union Group. That means the Union Group itself exports the iPhones under the name G-Next and imports it in Bangladesh under the name CPL. Because of this, it can easily resort to under-invoicing for importing the sets.

When asked about this, CPL chief operating officer Sanjay Mukherjee denied the allegation of under-invoicing. He told The Report, “The prices sometimes fall, as iPhone-lots are bought. Based on that, the prices are declared and the customs duty is levied on the prices.”

Ends/Thereport24.com/AR/Oct 6, 2015