ACC to probe smuggling goods through NBR server

Staff Correspondent . Dhaka | Update:

Anti-Corruption CommissionThe Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) is going to launch an investigation into the incident of smuggling goods by using ID and password of officials at Chattogram Customs House.

The anti-corruption watchdog formed a committee led by director Mohammad Yousuf on Monday, ACC deputy director Pranab Kumar Bhattacharya told Prothom Alo.

He said the commission initiated the move following reports on goods smuggling in the media, which include the Prothom Alo report titled 'Frauds access NBR server, release goods worth billions' published on 27 March.

Pranab Kumar said the ACC will investigate embezzlement of money and tax evasion through unloading goods by using fake ID with the help of clearing and forwarding (C&F) agents.

An unidentified gang of 'cyber attackers' accessed National Board of Revenue’s server for three years stealing official user identity and passwords and thus released imported goods worth billions, reveals an investigation.

This is a major incident of cheating involving a government entity following the world's largest cyber heist of $81 million of Bangladesh Bank money in 2016 that is yet to be unravelled entirely.

The 'miscreants' logged on to the NBR server for 3,777 times since 2016 using IDs of two customs officials to manipulate clearance process of imported goods, the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Directorate (CIID) found years later.

How it all happened

NBR uses software called ASYCUDA World System for all its customs related works after imports of any goods. All the ports of the country use this software. It is controlled from the NBR office in Kakrail, Dhaka. The NBR can stop release of imported goods by using this software, officials say.

A number of customs officials claimed, they had locked out, using the automated system, some 22 containers of goods allegedly imported on false declaration.

They added, they only came to know at a later stage that those containers were released with just nominal payment of customs duty.

DAM Muhibul Islam was posted at Chittagong port from 2013 to 2015. He went on retirement in 2015. Fazlul Haque was posted at Chattogram for six years between 2009 to 2015.

According to service rules, an official is given an ID and password made on his/her name after his appointment.

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