CHATTOGRAM, Jan 11: The Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) has vowed to free the Chittagong Customs House (CCH) from corruption by any section of officials.
The graft-buster agency's resolve has come in consideration of past power abuses and corruption.
The ACC is now keeping a close eye on the officials and employees at the CCH against whom the businesses filed allegations through the hotline of the ACC headquarters.
The allegations include corruption, power abuse and showing negligence to service seekers including importers, exporters, clearing and forwarding (C&F) agents and their representatives.
On the first day of raid on the CCH on Thursday, the ACC officials caught a revenue officer red-handed along with Tk 0.6 million (6.0 lakh) in cash in presence of senior customs officials.
According to ACC officials, Chittagong Port is the country's prime seaport through which 92 per cent of the total import and export cargoes enter and exit the country.
The CCH in Chattogram is responsible for assessment and collection of the revenue on the cargoes.
A deputy commissioner at the CCH has told the FE that the country earns around Tk 2.0 trillion in revenue a year and the CCH alone earned Tk 423.44 billion last year.
Deputy Commissioner (Preventive) of the CCH Mehraj Ul Alam Samrat said they extended their whole-hearted cooperation to the ACC officials, when the ACC officials were conducting the raid on Thursday.
They arrested revenue officer Nazim Uddin along with Tk 0.6 million in his possession.
The ACC grilled Md Nazim Uddin, revenue officer (administration) of the Customs House and seized Tk 6 00,000 in cash from his steel cupboard.
Deputy Director Mahbubul Alam of the ACC Chattogram-2 led the raid following instructions from Chief Coordinator of Enforcement Unit and Director General (Admin) of the ACC head office Md Munir Chowdhury.
"This is our mission to free the Customs department from corruption and the corrupt officials with a view to restoring smooth and dynamic activities in the overall international shipping business and related activities," Mahbubul Alam said.
CCH Commissioner Dr AKM Nuruzzaman said it cannot be accepted that the reputation of the NBR (National Board of Revenue) and the Customs Department is put to question.
DG (admin) of the Anti Corruption Commission Md Munir Chowdhury said the ACC was looking into the wealth of Nazim Uddin.
Nazim is not alone but there are many others like him. "We are investigating allegations against them'" he said.
"We have attached the highest importance to the Customs Department because it is involved with the national economy," he added.
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