Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)– Bangladesh has established an integrated automated system to check capital flight and tax evasion through strengthening monitoring and supervision on foreign trade, officials said.

The Bangladesh Bank (BB), the country’s central bank, and National Board of Revenue (NBR) have started implementation of electronic letters of credit (e-LCs) for imports initially to facilitate the country’s overall foreign trade.

Under the system, the central bank is providing information on LCs to the NBR, using its foreign-exchange transactions and monitoring system, generally known as ‘dashboard’.

The C&F (clearing and forwarding)) agents, as representatives of importers, will be able to self assess their duties and taxes using ASYCUDA World system of the NBR. Customs officials are empowered to reassess the duties and taxes, if necessary.  

“We’re working to introduce such an integrated automated system for exporters shortly,” BB deputy governor Nazneen Sultana told BBN in Dhaka.
She said the system will help to prevent both money laundering and tax evasion through curbing fake documentation along with other loopholes.

The BB deputy governor also said the central bank is now monitoring all kinds of foreign-exchange transactions using the ‘dashboard’ to check fraud and forgery in the country’s banking sector.

On February 12, 2013, the central bank launched the ‘dashboard’ for monitoring all kinds of foreign exchange transactions. It provides summary of export, import, inland back-to-back LC, and inward and outward remittances separately.

The BB’s latest moves came against the backdrop of a rising trend in illicit money outflows from the country, as reported by Global Financial Integrity (GFI). The Washington-based organisation was formed in 2006 to analyse unrecorded money disappearing out of the developing countries.

Its latest findings show that ‘illicit financial outflows’ from Bangladesh averaged, on an annual basis, at $1.3 billion between 2003 and 2012.

BBN/SSR/AD-05Feb15-8:55 pm (BST)