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Bangladesh - November 13, 2023

Dollar crisis going on in country

Staff Correspondent: There is a dollar crisis in the country for a long time. Such a situation has arisen mainly because of the Russia-Ukraine war. Smugglers are trying to smuggle dollars out of the country in such a situation. Basically, dollar smuggling is happening through some money exchange. Bangladesh Bank has issued notices to 42 such companies and closed the operations of 22. As the election approaches, the threat of dollar smuggling may increase. In such a situation, it has been ordered to increase intelligence surveillance at land borders and airports as well as to conduct operations.
According to intelligence sources, dollar crisis is going on in the country for the last two years. In such an opportunity, the dollar is being sold in the open market at the desired price. There are many money exchange companies involved in trading these dollars. Attempts are also being made to smuggle the sold dollars through different land borders and airports of the country. The trend of dollar smuggling may increase further before the upcoming 12th National Assembly elections. In such fear, the government ordered to increase intelligence surveillance to prevent dollar smuggling at the land border and airports, as well as conduct operations if necessary.
According to airport sources, Hazrat Shahjalal (RA) International Airport in Dhaka, Shah Amanat Airport in Chittagong and MAG Osmani International Airport in Sylhet are under special surveillance to prevent money laundering by air as per the instructions of the Central Bank. As the election approaches, intelligence surveillance is also being intensified. Baggage searches of passengers continue with extra vigilance. Intelligence surveillance on airport money exchange booths has been increased. VIP passengers have also been searched to prevent money laundering.
Shariful Islam, public relations officer of BGB, said that despite such strict surveillance, there is an attempt to smuggle dollars. $33,200 were seized from the Buripota border in Meherpur during the operation of BGB on Saturday. Attempts were made to smuggle the seized dollars into India.
In this regard, 6 BGB (Chuadanga) captain Lt. Colonel Syed Mohammad Zahidur Rahman said, on Saturday morning at around 9:30 AM, an operation was conducted at Buripota border of Meherpur Sadar Upazila based on intelligence information. During the raid, a person was seen watering the paddy field. Due to advance information about him and suspicion of his movements, a raid was launched to nab him. At that time the person managed to escape.
A BGB official said that after a raid there, four bundles of US dollars wrapped in scotch tape were found in a bag wrapped in old cloth and polythene. A total of $33,200 is available in the bundle. Attempts were made to smuggle the dollars into India. A case has been registered in this regard at Meherpur Sadar Police Station. The seized US dollars have been deposited in the state treasury through the Meherpur Treasury Office.
BGB Director General Major General AKM Nazmul Hasan has ordered all battalions of BGB to continue continuous operations including intelligence surveillance at the land border to prevent dollar smuggling.
According to BGB sources, earlier last year, $80 thousand were seized during smuggling to India through Phulbari border of Damurhudaupazila of Chuadanga district. The investigation of the incident revealed the involvement of many money exchanges in dollar smuggling.
According to Bangladesh Bank sources, a total of 42 money exchanges have been given notices for illegally selling dollars and operating illegally based on the information of the law enforcement forces and the bank’s own intelligence agency. Of these, five currency exchanges were sealed in the first round and three in the second-round last year. In the first phase of this year, 9 money exchange institutions were closed. Most recently, five money exchange institutions were suspended or closed or sealed in raids in Mohammadpur, Adabar and Sher Bangla Nagar Police Station areas of Dhaka.
According to Central Bank sources, altogether 22 money exchange institutions have been closed. The license of these institutions has been cancelled. At the same time, they have been blacklisted. The rest of the money exchanges are being monitored by the Financial Intelligence Department of Bangladesh Bank and other intelligence agencies. A notice has been issued again that no one can do business of selling dollars without a license. At the same time, conditions or limits have been imposed on the conversion of currencies from banks and money exchanges into dollars.
DB chief DMP Additional Commissioner Mohammad Haroon Or Rashid said that even if he hoards dollars illegally or dishonestly, he will be brought under the law if necessary. DB detectives are working in this regard. Intelligence surveillance has been increased on financial institutions including various money exchange institutions.

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