WB hands over another duty-free vehicle

With a vow to support the ongoing investigation of Customs Intelligence and Investigation Directorate (CIID), the World Bank has handed over another car, 11 days after the directorate sought information about 16 vehicles brought into the country duty-free.

The WB's Dhaka office turned over the sedan -- Toyota Allion, 2006, -- to officials at CIID Kakrail office around 5:00pm on February 22, Moinul Khan, director general of CIID, told The Daily Star today.

With this, the WB has handed over three duty-free vehicles.

The WB voluntarily surrendered the car and expressed its commitment to extend all out support to the ongoing investigation conducted by the customs investigators, the CIID official said quoting a letter sent by Qimiao Fan, World Bank country director for Bangladesh.

Information based on a primary investigation, the user of the sedan was Nihal Fernando, a senior rural development specialist of WB who left the country in December of 2010 but did not surrender it to the customs authorities, he said.

Fernando bought the vehicle free of duty under privileged persons' facility for personal use.

The customs authorities found irregularities in other vehicles in its primary investigation and will take legal measures against the matter with support of the WB, the CIID official said.

The National Board of Revenue (NBR) in 2003 framed a rule that allowed foreigners, who work at the local offices of the WB, International Monetary Fund, Asian Development Bank and other international development agencies, to import durables at zero duty.

The durables brought in under the facility must be listed on a passbook. The foreigners should return the passbooks to the NBR before leaving Bangladesh on expiry of their job tenure.

The foreign nationals can either choose to take back the durables with them or sell those to people with same status. However, the NBR must be informed about their choice of action.

The rule stipulates that if any privileged person flouts the rule, the head of the organisation concerned would be held responsible for it.

Following an investigation, the CIID on February 15 sent a letter to the WB's Dhaka office seeking information about the 16 duty-free vehicles.

On February 19, 2017, the ILO country office in Dhaka handed over a sedan, brought in Bangladesh duty-free, to CIID officials.

source: Daily star

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