Having caught two customs officials in the act of negotiating kickbacks, central revenue intelligence has started a drive to figure out such cases of other tax-watchdogs under suspicion.
It is part of a move of the revenue authority to set its own house in order before chasing the tax-dodgers, official sources said, reports UNB.
It is for the first time in the National Board of Revenue (NBR) history that bribery of two officials of its own got caught in a trap laid by its intelligence outfit, they claimed.
The two officials -- Superintendent Jahed Hossain and Inspector Nazrul Islam -- were suspended on December 15.
"The NBR Central Intelligence Cell (CIC) tapped their phone conversations with their clients and caught them redhanded," said one official.
As it showed the tip of the iceberg, the NBR authorities directed the CIC to go for more investigation against those officials who have "reputation crisis."
Recently, the CIC examined some NBR officials and figured out that many of them have got wealth that is unusual with regard to their income. "We detected that many NBR officials got no more than Tk 0.2 million a year, but their lifestyle, manifested in the glare of house, internal decoration, education for the children, is so much expensive that must not be covered with that salary," said a CIC official.
"We, at the initial stages, examined the income and expenditure of the linemen, meter reader of the WASA, BTTB and such other government service sectors… but now the NBR decided to clean itself," he said.
He observed that if the NBR could be made a safe place for the taxpayers, VAT and customs duty payers, without having to face any hindrance, then the revenue collection of the country would get a tremendous boost.
For detecting this kind of bribery and illegal source of income of the NBR officials and other persons, the CIC has already procured modern and sophisticated equipment like micro-voice recorder, different types of spy cameras and other related equipment.
The intelligence cell contributed more than Tk 11 billion to the revenue through detecting tax evasions and realising them this year.
According to the sources, the CIC this year detected tax evasion to the tune of Tk 10 billion of different businesses, including garment-industry owners, professionals like doctors, lawyers, engineers, service-holders, private security agencies, shipping agents, clearing & forwarding (C&F) agents and marriage bureaus. The tax spies deposited Tk 1.0 billion with government exchequer.
CIC sources confirmed that with their hectic initiatives a key cell-phone company of the country had to pay their due taxes amounting no less than Tk 300 million, although the company has some disputes regarding the amount of the taxes.
Pointing out some hindrances to detection of the tax evasion, he said, "If we can get the actual data from the banks, it would be very much easier for us to detect tax evasion."
He alleged that many times the delinquents negotiated with the bank officials for not divulging their account information.
For that reason the CIC on its own initiative is building a databank of various persons for quick finding about a particular person.