Dhaka, Bangladesh
Gold smuggling knows no end

Gold smuggling knows no end

Import policy yet to be announced

News Report Customs at Sylhet's Osmani International Airport confiscated 3.5kg of gold that was smuggled into the country aboard a flight from Abu Dhabi on Sunday. Acting on a tip-off, customs searched the airplane and found 30 gold bars wrapped in tape. The market value of the gold is nearly Tk 20 million. Smuggling of gold has been increasing through Dhaka, Chittagong airports and sea ports. The government is yet to announce the gold import policy. The smugglers use Bangladesh air and sea ports as transit points and smuggle out the gold to other destinations including India. In recent time big consignments of gold are being smuggled through Dhaka and Chittagong airports. These are unusual consignments. The customs officials say that the smugglers have been operating desperately in these routes because of lax vigilance. If the security is not tightened further, the smuggling will continue unabated that will affect the economy and security of the country. The sources in customs and intelligence agencies confirm that the seized gold constitutes only 10 per cent of the smuggled gold through airports. The customs department has been seizing huge quantity of gold from Dhaka and Chittagong airports. The quantity is not known clearly. The customs should give the account for seized gold so far because people have the right to know the position. It is important to know the quantity of gold seized and where these are kept. There were some incidents in which even law enforcers were involved in hiding the seized gold bars. The golds are smuggled mostly in Bangladesh Biman. It is alleged that a section of Biman crew is involved in smuggling of gold. The dishonest crew get Tk five to ten lakh from the smugglers' syndicate for every consignment. The crew who is purchased by the smugglers is given duty in the specific aircraft of Biman as per desire of the smugglers. It is said that a section of Biman crew were purchased by the smugglers. There is also "rent" system to hire a crew by smugglers in Biman in connivance with the high officials of the national carrier. There are other ground officials who are also involved in the smuggling process, according to sources. The law enforcers arrested many Biman crew and ground staff with smuggled gold.

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