Wednesday, February 21

Man drops luxury car at customs after failing to pay tax

Rafiul Islam: A tax defaulter has apparently surrendered his luxury car, being unable to pay for its tax that piled up over the years, for what he said out of respect for the law.

The incident came to light when customs officials of Sylhet found a Lexus 2007 model luxury vehicle, worth about Tk 1.5 crore, waiting outside their office door around 2:00am early today.

The vehicle, that was said to have been brought from UK in 2011 under carnet facility with an undertaking to send back by a year, had a letter inside it which appeared to be from its owner.

Moinul Khan, director general of Bangladesh’s Customs Intelligence, told The Daily Star: “The letter said the car has been handed over to customs intelligence to comply with the law.”

“Carnet de passage is a permission given to any foreigners for using cars, brought from abroad, for use inside a country for a specific period of time. Bangladesh stopped issuing this permit in 2014,” he said.

“This car has been used on roads without compliance. The owner preferred anonymity while handing over the car which was found unregistered, he said.

The anonymous letter said: “I am a permanent resident of London for the past 49 years. I am working in Bangladesh as a foreign investor for a long time.”

“I brought this Lexus car under Carnet De passage facility for my personal use. I thought I could renew the permit. But I did not get any assistance from the government in this regard.”

“Hence, the tax and duty money of this vehicle went out of my hands. I could not pay them. Thus, I did not send back the vehicle and did not use it since its permit expired.”

“I am surrendering my vehicle to you out of respect for law. Soon, I will bring all documents and receipts relating to this car from London and hand it over to you.”

“I firmly believe I will get all necessary assistance from the government and will not face any harassment.”

“Now, I humbly request you to let me know the accurate sum I need to pay to clear the pending tax. I am also requesting the government’s assistance in this regard.”