BB asks ADs for import shipment tracking

| Updated: May 19, 2022 19:21:04

BB asks ADs for import shipment tracking

The central bank asks the authorised dealers (ADs) to track import shipments through vessel/container tracking as it smells a rat about trade-based money laundering of billions of dollars.

Currently, banks are tracking vessels through software, especially in case of having a cash-incentive facility for shipments.

But from now on, a Bangladesh Bank directive issued on Tuesday stipulates, they will have to track import shipments as well.

Some bank executives say they have some software which can detect positions of vessels but they cannot detect inside goods.

Many suggest that such a situation could be risky when suspicions are rife about over-invoicing and under-invoicing.

The BB says, "It has now been decided that to ensure onboard of import goods, ADS shall conduct the tracking of shipments for relevant import transactions."

The instructions take immediate effect.

"This will subsequently contain trade-based money laundering and stop unscrupulous persons during money flights in the name of exports," Syed Mahbubur Rahman, managing director and CEO at Mutual Trust Bank.

Bangladesh's capital flight usually occurs through export and import trade.

Many local importers also cash in on poor monitoring systems when it comes to tracking vessels.

A January 2019 GFI report showed illicit capital outflow went unabated as $5.9 billion was siphoned off from Bangladesh in 2015 and a total $81.74 billion from 2006 to 2016.

It is estimated that illicit financial outflow or money laundering from Bangladesh was ranging from $2.7 billion to $5.9 billion in 2015.

The amount drained out through over-invoicing in imports and under-invoicing in exports.

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