English Arabic Armenian Azerbaijani Chinese (Simplified) Chinese (Traditional) Czech Danish Dutch Estonian Filipino Finnish French Galician Georgian German Greek Hindi Hungarian Icelandic Indonesian Italian Japanese Korean Latvian Lithuanian Malay Maltese Norwegian Persian Polish Portuguese Russian Slovak Slovenian Spanish Swedish Thai Turkish Ukrainian Vietnamese

Tunisia trade fraud uncovered

WASHINGTON, DC: According to the World Bank, companies and individuals connected to former Tunisian president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali avoided paying US$1.2 billion in import duties between 2002 and 2009.

Ben Ali (right) fled to Saudi Arabia with family members and a reported US$50 million in gold after a bloodless coup in 2011.

In March this year, Tunisia applied to join the Geneva prosecutor's money-laundering case against HSBC's Swiss unit in a bid to recover a reported US$161 million from Ben Ali and his relatives.

The new World Bank study on Tunisian trade practices identifies tariff gaps by comparing data on exports from its trade partners with the value of imports reported by the country's Customs authority.

ben-ali-tunisiaThe declared value of imports by Ben Ali-connected firms was found to be 18 percent higher than average firms, with declared quantities of imports 21 percent higher, but reported unit prices were found to be on average 4.8 percent lower.

For imported goods subject to high tariffs, the reported prices were even lower at 8.1 percent. The bank says this type of underreporting allowed regime-connected companies and individuals to evade US$217 million in taxes in 2009 alone.

According to the report, "Tunisian Customs authorities are considered among the most corrupted of all government institutions by Tunisian citizens and companies. [And] while the Tunisian Customs code is consistent with best practices defined by the World Customs Organization, its implementation is discretionary."

Eileen Murray, World Bank country manager for Tunisia, said the avoidance of import duties by business associates of Ben Ali undermined competition and allowed wealthier, politically connected elites to amass greater profits by paying lower import duties.

"The fiscal losses we calculated are based strictly on the underreporting of prices, and do not factor in other forms of tax fraud such as underreporting the quantity of imports, or the bypassing of Customs entirely through smuggling," said Bob Rijkers, World Bank economist and lead author of the report.

Despite a 16.2 percent drop in tariff evasion since 2011 on products associated with the former regime, there has been a 5.7 percent rise in tariff evasion in other products: "The revolution has led to a decline in price underreporting by previously connected firms, but this has been coupled with a rise in tariff evasion among ordinary firms and an increase in informal trade," added Rijkers.

With help from the World Bank, Murray said Tunisia's finance ministry now wants to simplify import reporting procedures in a bid to boost exports and reduce opportunities for fraud.

News

Written on 26/05/2017, 16:16
powerful-future-ahead-for-madagascarPORT LOUIS, Mauritius. May 24, 2017. Volga-Dnepr Airlines has now completed a series of flights begun in March to deliver power generators from Mauritius...
Written on 25/05/2017, 20:07
rhinos-return-to-rwandaAKAGERA, Rwanda: May 25, 2017. Ten years after the Eastern black rhino disappeared from Rwanda following decades of poaching, 19 animals have now taken up...
Written on 25/05/2017, 18:33
port-everglades-gets-expansion-go-aheadPORT EVERGLADES, FL: May 24, 2017. Port Everglades is to invest US$437.5 million to add new berths for larger cargo vessels and install crane rail...
Written on 24/05/2017, 20:42
hapag-lloyd-takes-a-big-step-with-uascHAMBURG: May 24, 2017. Hapag-Lloyd and the United Arab Shipping Company (UASC) have completed their merger. Shareholders at the annual general meeting on...
Written on 23/05/2017, 21:03
dhl-adds-rail-link-between-shenzhen-and-belarusSHENZHEN: May 22, 2017. DHL Global Forwarding has launched the first regular LCL and FCL rail service that connects Shenzhen to Minsk in Belarus in less...
Written on 22/05/2017, 19:48
cathay-pacific-launches-restructuring-with-layoffsHONG KONG: May 22, 2017. Cathay Pacific is making 600 head office staff redundant following the announcement in March of a three-year business...
Written on 18/05/2017, 21:59
air-zimbabwe-banned-from-europeBRUSSELS: May 17, 2017. In an update to its Air Safety List, the European Commission has banned Air Zimbabwe from flying to the 28 EU Member States "due...
Written on 17/05/2017, 22:43
russian-logistics-network-signs-development-agreementMUNICH: May 17, 2017. Meeting at the transport logistic trade fair last week, members of Russia's Associated Cargo Experts Alliance (ACEX) and the...
Written on 17/05/2017, 19:41
oman-to-adopt-tir-conventionMUSCAT: May 17, 2017. The International Road Transport Union (IRU) is to support the Oman Global Logistics Group (OGLG) in developing Oman as a major...
Written on 15/05/2017, 21:56
record-port-call-for-savannahSAVANNAH, GA: MAY 15, 2017. COSCO Development, at 13,000 TEU the largest box ship to call at an U.S. East Coast port, moved a record 10,000 containers...
Written on 11/05/2017, 14:24
lufthansa-cargo-still-caring-for-humansMUNICH: May 10, 2017. Lufthansa Cargo has celebrated the 10th anniversary of its employee-inspired humanitarian logistics program Cargo Human Care (CHC)...
Written on 10/05/2017, 20:34
renewed-b-logistics-rebrands-as-lineasMUNICH: May 10, 2017. Less than two weeks after it re-launched itself as Lineas, rail logistics company B Logistics has come to transport logistic in...
Written on 09/05/2017, 21:52
cranes-get-a-lift-from-hansaHAMBURG: May 09, 2017 – Hansa Heavy Lift (HHL) has moved two 870 tonnes cranes from a decommissioned power station at London's port of Tilbury to...
Written on 09/05/2017, 18:49
ups-to-handle-dubai-expo-logisticsDUBAI: May 09, 2017. UPS is to sponsor the logistics for World Expo 2020 Dubai, to be held between October 2020 and April 2021. The company has also...
Written on 09/05/2017, 16:51
cargolux-carrier-of-choice-emirates-skycargoMUNICH: May 09, 2017. Emirates SkyCargo and Cargolux are to share aircraft capacity, networks and respective hubs in Dubai and Luxembourg in a new...
Written on 05/05/2017, 20:30
new-multipurpose-service-links-u-s-and-mediterraneanLEER, Germany: May 03, 2017. Multipurpose vessel operator BBC Chartering is adding ocean capacity between the Mediterranean and the US- East Coast, with...
Written on 04/05/2017, 20:42
royal-schiphol-group-costs-klm-millions-claimAMSTERDAM: May 04, 2017. KLM reported Q1 2017 revenue of €2.2 billion - a 3.3 percent rise over the same period last year. EBITDA increased €14 million to...
Written on 04/05/2017, 19:06
bmw-to-increase-rail-link-to-chinaMUNICH: May 03. China's news agency Xinhua reports BMW plans to increase its use of 'Silk Road' rail networks to ship components from Europe. According...
Written on 03/05/2017, 20:21
ethiopian-provides-support-for-drought-reliefTOULOUSE: May 02, 2017. German NGO humedica e.V and UK non-profit Aviation without Borders have used an Ethiopian Airlines A350 XWB delivery flight to...
Written on 28/04/2017, 19:13
amazon-3rd-party-fulfillment-revenue-up-34-percentSEATTLE: April 28, 2017. Amazon has reported net income of US$724 million on sales of US$35.71 billion for the first quarter of 2017. Results for the...

- powered by Quickchilli.com -