Dhaka, Bangladesh
Illegal cigarette factory unearthed in Bhairab

Illegal cigarette factory unearthed in Bhairab

News Report An illegal cigarette manufacturing unit named 'Tara International Tobacco' has been unearthed in Bhairab upazila of Kishoreganj district. The factory which is running without environment clearance certificate is located nearby the Technical School and College in Shombhupur area under Shibpur union of the upazila on the west side of Dhaka-Mymensingh highway. The government is being deprived of a huge amount of VAT and taxes as the company has been using fake cigarette band-roll. According to the Department of Environment (DoE), Kishoreganj, Tara International Tobacco was served a notice to take an environmental clearance certificate in 2017 but it did not pay heed to it. Rather, it is continuing its illegal production of various branded cigarettes and is distributing those across the country. Under the circumstances, the DoE office issued a show-cause notice on September 24 asking the company to respond it within seven days but Tara International did not comply with the notice. While contacted, Kazi Sumon, Sr. Chemist of DoE, Kishoreganj, said the next course of action will be taken against the factory for not responding to the show-cause notice. If needed, the second show-cause notice will be served to the company, he added. Paying visit to the spot, it is seen that the main entrance of the company is always kept closed. The machineries have been set up in the tin-shed factory surrounded with boundary walls where illegal cigarettes of different brands were manufactured, said gate keeper Alauddin. The illicit cigarettes produced here are usually transported to the different areas of the country at the dead of night, he continued. It is alleged that Bhairab upazila parishad's former chairman Md Gias Uddin is the owner of the land and he is one of the partners of this company. However, as per DoE document, it is seen that Md Abdus Sobur and Md Umar Faruq Siddique are the proprietors of Tara International Tobacco. Talking to this correspondent, Md Gias Uddin said that modern machinery will be replaced soon at the factory. He said the main owner of the company hails from Chittagong but he could not provide any information in this regard. He claimed that they run the factory with valid license and legal papers. However, when asked, he said nothing about the cigarette brands they produce in the company.

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