Dhaka, Bangladesh
Petitioner seeks action against GBX Logistics

Petitioner seeks action against GBX Logistics

A petition to the High Court has accused GBX Logistics, the local agent of international container shippers Hapag-Lloyd, of dodging millions in taxes and money laundering, reports bdnews24.com. The appeal was moved on Sunday, but the court adjourned it for three weeks following an objection by the state. Ajmalul Hossain QC, accompanied by Advocate Shaheen Khan, represented the petitioner while Deputy Attorney General Motaher Hossain stood for the state. In 2014, GBX Logistics earned a "substantial amount of revenue" in commission, in line with the Bangladesh Bank directives, after handling Hapag-Lloyd's businesses, Khan told the news agency. "But instead of the 37.5 percent corporate tax, the company paid 5 percent tax at source on the revenue. They have also siphoned off the undisclosed income out of the country." Citing the petition filed by his client Motiur Rahman, Khan said that in 2012, the then Hapag-Lloyd's local agent, SW Shipping, earned Tk 78.1 million in commission. "But GBX Logistics, which handled twice the business in 2014, claimed in its financial statements that it only earned Tk 50 million." Citing the company's financial reports, the petition says, GBX also stated an income of Tk 81.24 million the same year from handling local businesses of Singapore-based OL and BLPL, bringing its total earnings to Tk 121.24 million. The petition claims GBX paid Tk 8.63 million in tax at source instead of Tk 45.45 million in corporate taxes. The petitioner served legal notices twice on the National Board of Revenue, Bangladesh Bank and the Anti-Corruption Commission urging actions. The High Court was moved as they had not responded to it, according to the plea. The petition seeks a rule asking why the inaction of the NBR, ACC and BB to the allegations would not be declared illegal and why GBX Logistics' license should not be scrapped. It also requests the release of all related documents including, the agreement between Hagap-Lloyd and GBX Logistics. Speaking to bdnews24.com, the state's counsel Hossain said the court had rejected the petitioner's previous plea on the matter. "Now it has been presented as public interest litigation. The court sought an explanation over it and instructed the ACC counsel to show up with all relevant documents, before adjourning the matter for three weeks," said Hossain, a deputy attorney general. No-one from GBX Logistics was available for comment.

Share |