Pran-RFL Group yesterday said Pran Dairy has not dodged taxes as opposed to claims after cement was found in 30 containers in place of raw materials for plastic products.
It came after the Customs House in Chattogram filed a case against Pran Dairy alleging that it tried to dodge paying Tk 2.88 crore in duty by falsely declaring 30 containers of imported cement as raw materials for plastic products.
In a statement, Pran-RFL Group said Pran Dairy opened a 180-day deferred letter of credit in favour of GPG Middle East General Trading LLC of United Arab Emirates on March 21 this year with Mutual Trust Bank in order to import 510 tonnes of HDPE resin.
Subsequently, the resin arrived at the Chattogram port on May 26 through Everbest Logistics, the local agent of SK Shipping Line. But the clearing agent informed Pran Dairy that cement bags were found in place of resin during unloading of the containers on June 1.
Pran Dairy immediately informed all stakeholders, including the supplier, the shipping line, the Customs House of Chattogram and the port authorities, stating that the goods were not supplied as per the purchase order, according to the statement.
It declined to accept the delivery of the goods and requested through the jetty examination official to keep the containers under the custody of the security department of the port.
Pran Dairy also requested Mutual Trust Bank to cancel the LC payment in favour of GPG Middle East General Trading. As it was a 180-day deferred LC, no payment was made to the supplier. They assumed that the supplier or associated one or more companies have deceived them and tried to embezzle the money by supplying the cement instead of HDPE resin.
According to the statement, Pran Dairy signed the contract to import the resin worth Tk 5.52 crore. It paid duty amounting to Tk 1.42 crore on May 27 to facilitate the imports. On the other hand, the price of the goods supplied was Tk 35.10 lakh and the duty would be Tk 32.25 lakh.
Pran Dairy had deposited Tk 1.10 crore more in duty to the government coffer than it would have needed to pay for the cement. The company filed a case with First Joint District Judge Court in Dhaka on June 16 seeking redress.