MNA Editorial Desk: Casino and gambling materials have entered the country using legal routes as those are not labelled as restricted ones in the country’s import policy order, sources said.
The importers concerned also paid due duty and taxes.
The non-inclusion of casino and gambling items in the restricted category by the import policy order, sources noted, contradicts the emphasis laid in the country’s constitution on the prevention of gambling of any type.
However, the National Board of Revenue (NBR) has now decided to request the Ministry of Commerce (MoC) to restrict the import of casino materials.
Meanwhile, the customs intelligence is now on the lookout for seven importers of casino and gambling materials.
They are also closely observing the possible places of the installation of the gaming machines.
The customs intelligence wing has already sought from the relevant commercial banks the detailed information of the account numbers and letters of credit and other information about four importers.
The Customs Intelligence and Investigation Directorate (CIID) have written to the banks on Tuesday, seeking the import details.
According to the officials, casino items have entered the country through various customs ports, banking on the import policy order.
The punishment for an offence like gambling is also very light—a fine of Tk.500.
The CIID has evidence that the importers have brought gambling and casino materials through different customs ports, paying duty taxes. The four importers are Pushpita Enterprise, Nenad Trade International, AM Islam & Sons and A3 Trade International, all of them are based in Dhaka.
They have imported the casino and other gambling materials through Benapole customs port, inland container depot of Kamalapur and Dhaka customs house, sources said.
They all have imported the casino stuff from China.
Talking to the FE, CIID director general Shahidul Islam said their intelligence wing is working to find out the persons involved in casino business. “Initially, we’ve identified some businesses and are scrutinising their details now,” he added.
Meanwhile, officials said the CIID have received import information on a total of seven companies.
In addition to four, the details about the remaining three firms are also under CIID’s scrutiny.
Three consignments belonging to Six Sea Corporation, two to Nenad Trade International and one each to New Hope Agrotech Bangladesh Ltd and Best Tycoon (BD) Enterprise Ltd are under scrutiny.
The importers have brought products like gaming machine, articles for funfair, table or parlour games, recreational machine and mahjong, sports table, roulette game table.
They have also imported casino coin, casino chips, casino war game table, andar bahar game table, Baccarat game table, card lock (box type) and poker game chips.
Meanwhile, the central intelligence cell of NBR has collected tax files of seven to eight more persons to find out their income, assets and paid taxes.
Tax officials said they have smelt a rat in the evasion of taxes through concealment of actual income by those casino owners.