Bangladesh : Customs Intelligence seized 11 imported vehicles belonging to a British aid agency from the Centre for the Rehabilitation of the Paralyzed in Savar on the outskirts of Dhaka on Wednesday night.
Customs Intelligence and Investigation Directorate director general Shahidul Islam in a statement said that the seized vehicles of aid group Department for International Development worth of Tk 30 crore.
Shahidul said that their team, led by additional director general Kazi Muhammad Zia Uddin, conducted a raid and seized the luxurious vehicles brought under tax exemption facilities by DFID.
According to officials, the DFID garaged 19 vehicles at CRP two years ago and in two phases took away eight vehicles from the place.
‘Rest of vehicles was kept at [CRP] in order to evade the tax,’ said the CIID chief.
Shahidul said that DFID had funded a number of projects at CRP and taking the advantage of it the vehicles were kept there on June 27, 2016 for six months.
On request from CRP, the DFID had taken only eight vehicles and rests were kept in Savar, he said.
CRP’s head of support Shahidur Rahman said that they had sent emails to DFID several times regarding the matter but found no response.
According to the Customs Rules, Shahidul said, the DFID should have informed the National Board of Revenue about the changes of ownership of vehicles brought under duty free facilities.
A DFID official in a message on Thursday, however, claimed that they did not break any rules.
‘These vehicles were previously used by a UK-funded project, and belonged to DFID. They had been parked in the CRP car park, with CRP’s permission,’ he said.
‘The vehicles have not been seized and remained at CRP. We will dispose of the vehicles in line with DFID procedures and Government of Bangladesh laws. We always notify the National Board of Revenue whenever a vehicle ownership changes.’