Sunday, Dec 15 2019 | Time 00:58 Hrs(IST)
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DESPITE SOARING EXPORTS, BANGLADESHI GARMENT SECTOR CONTINUES TO FALL PREY TO FRAUDS

 Where on one hand the Bangladeshi garment industry is thriving globally due to its efficient quality delivery, on the other the exporters have recently fallen prey to apparel fraud.  This comes at a time when the community of garment manufacturers is collectively working towards enhancing the standard of garment manufacturing in terms of safety and labor standards.


 






In the recent past, Bangladeshi garment exporters have fallen victim to fraudulence, with some 26 companies manufacturing goods worth Tk 600 crore for a non-existent British company.


 







By placing order on behalf of an unknown exporter, two local garment buying houses, Vanguard and ASM Apparels Ltd, offered higher prices. However, the price was offered on one condition that the raw materials have to be bought from selected textile factories in China. The deception came to light after the first batch of consignments were left unclaimed for over one month at a UK port. In this case, the action is yet to be taken as the accused are allegedly absconding.


 






One common issue that was observed by the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) was that the affected factories are yet to lodge complaints with it, as they fear that it may tarnish the brand reputation.


 






That said, one of the companies that suffered a similar fate was the Hong-Kong based Norwest Industries Ltd, when Rahul Shukla, its former employee, misappropriated some of its assets. As per a
notice on The Financial Express, a warrant has been issued against the businessman Rahul Shukla and his brother Sidharth Shukla of Trend Corporation by the Office of the Learned Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Dhaka. It mentions that they have absconded in order to avoid a possible summon/arrest.


 






Apart from this, in August 2019, the Customs, Excise & VAT Commissionerate had raided Alpha Composite Towel Ltd, and found VAT evasion of Tk3.76 crore, in which they had issued VAT-free invoices showing an export of around 5 metric tonne of their manufactured product (terry towel) from 2010 to 2016.


 


 


Primary investigations found that the company kept avoiding paying VAT applicable on their product by issuing the fake invoices.


 






Incidents like these impacts the existing garment companies present in the country, affecting the prospective growth. Bangladesh is expected to get the middle-income country status by the year 2021, and the RMG sector is playing one of the most essential roles in it. With China losing its ground
— owing to its increased production value and ongoing trade war with the US, Bangladesh may topple it from number 1 garment exporter tag soon.


 






That said, frauds committed by the companies like Vanguard & ASM Apparels Ltd, Rahul Shukla Trend Corporation need to be highlighted more, so that the  fraudulent activities or scams can be averted both at domestic and international level
— thereby saving both small and large companies from going bankrupt or losing money.


 


 




In a bid to make business more transparent and economically secure, people in general, shouldn't indulge in corporate or business deals with such companies. Amidst soaring exports, the country needs revolutionary measures to avoid fraud business deals and witness a solid boost from the Garment industry.


 


 







 

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