Chinese companies, already suffering from a poor image in corporate ethics, are continually violating the laws through corruption and criminality in Bangladesh, causing loss to the national treasurer.
Recently, in May, a case of tax evasion against Chinese company, Sino-Kemmed Trading Co. unearthed by the Bangladesh authorities.
Sino-Kemmed Trading company, a subsidiary of Global Pet Products Co Ltd. located in Shenzhen, has declared to send a consignment of coated calcium carbonate to one of its Dhaka-based associate namely ‘NB Trading House’. However, on physical examination, the Bangladesh officials recovered 120 tonnes of high-value Dextrose Monohydrate. The Dextrose was concealed as the label was that of coated calcium carbonate inside, Bangladesh Live News reported.
According to the media report, the consignment arrived at Chittagong port and was carried in five containers under Vashi Shipping Pvt Ltd. If the authorities had not detected it at right time then it would have resulted in loss of Bangladeshi Taka (TK) 42 Lakhs 13 thousand to the exchequer.
Some media reports suggest that the port authorities/ customs were under tremendous pressure from senior levels not to disclose the name and real identities of Chinese companies.
Chinese authorities were apparently concerned over media reports highlighting the involvement of their companies involved in tax fraud in Bangladesh.
Notably, this is not the first case of tax evasion in Bangladesh, earlier, in December 2021, the authorities had discovered that China Road & Bridge Corporation (CRBC), engaged in the construction of road and bridges in Bangladesh, was involved in tax evasion while importing construction material for government projects.
Another Chinese company called ‘Digit Anti Fake Company Ltd’ (DAFC) had supplied counterfeit bandrolls (a thin ribbon wrapped on bidi and cigarette packets) resulting in fraudulent tax evasion of over Tk 250 crore for Bangladesh.
The company was also found involved in printing counterfeit passports, ballot papers, national identity cards, birth registration certificates, etc. In another case of evasion, Tianye Outdoor (BD) Co Ltd (TOCL), a subsidiary of Chinese company Comefly Outdoor Co Ltd had allegedly indulged in tax evasion and fraud to the tune of about Tk 21 crore.
Meanwhile, the Bangladesh government cancelled Chinese funding for one of its railway projects and was reportedly looking for alternative funding options for other projects including converting the existing Akhaura-Sylhet meter gauge rail road into a dual gauge and Joydebpur-Ishwardi double gauge project.
Though Beijing projects itself as a reliable economic partner, its economic partnership seems to be turning out as an albatross for the recipient countries