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Bangladesh - World wide - November 6, 2022

Who will combat gold smuggling in border

Golam Mostafa Jibon: Despite several initiatives of the law enforcers, gold smuggling to neighboring country India through different bordering routes is increasing regularlypushing the country’s economy into a naked state.
As a result, local traders are facing manifold troubles while importing and selling the gold. They are not getting adequate facilities from the authorities concerned, many claimed.
But, most of the godfathers involved with gold smuggling have remained out of touch year after year. Over 100 syndicates have remained active at around 50 points of 12 districts under India-Bangladesh borders, sources said.
Gold worth crores of Taka is being smuggled into India and in contrary drugs are enteringinto Bangladesh from the other side. The members of the smuggling rings are adopting novel strategies for seamless smuggling. Sometimes they disguise themselves as farmers, day laborers, truck-lorry drivers, sailors, shepherds and fishermen to smuggle gold.
They are using tiffin boxes, baskets of seasonal fruits, vegetables and human bodies to smuggle gold from a country to another. At least 100 syndicates across the country are reported to be active in gold smuggling in India. Basically, under their control, gold shipments are being smuggled.
It is alleged that, some dishonest officers-employees and members of law enforcement agencies of various organizations working at Shahjalal, Shah Amanat and Osmani International Airports have link with these gangs too. But the law enforcement agencies are not able to go near the main culprits of smuggling. As a result, large consignments remain out of reach.
According to sources, some noted Indian smugglers took consignments from Bangladeshi traders through the border area soon after the arrival of gold from abroad. More gold is smuggled through Satkhira, Benapole, Kushtia, Jessore, Lalmonirhat, Chapainawabganj and Rajshahi.
Gold smugglers use Bangladeshi mobile-SIMs. Invoice information is exchanged through SMS. The gold carried on airway goes to different destinations through bus and train.
BGB officials said that, the border guards of the two countries are seriously monitoring the issue of gold smuggling. Although, surveillance and patrols are increased at all the points through which gold is being smuggled, it cannot be stopped in any way. In recent times, the activity of gold smuggling has also increased abnormally.
Law enforcers said, If someone is arrested, he or she gets out of bail and goes back to the previous business. Several officials of customs intelligence and government law enforcement agencies are said to have spoken to Feroze Alam, one of the members of the gold smuggling syndicate. He often visits Dubai. Apart from this, Mohammad Anis and Mohammad Waheduzzaman are among the discussed traffickers. Their home is Sayedabad. They traveled abroad several times. Currently they are staying in Singapore. Another is Abdul Awal. Several leaders of the ruling party are in contact with him. Another syndicate member Farooq Ahmed is currently staying in Dubai. He has been smuggling gold for a long time. Apart from this, Sohail Rana, Sumon Sarwar, Khalil Rahman, Monir Ahmed, Waedullah, Saiful Islam of Mirpur, Manjur Hossain of Narayanganj, Samsul Huda of Pallabi, Islam Sheikh of Munshiganj, Mohammad Hanif of Rajbari, Mohammad Rubel of Munshiganj, Mizan and Rafiqul Islam of Shariatpur, Gafargaon Ansar Ullah Jasim, Idris Mollah of Faridpur, Indian citizen Roopsaha, Gopal Bijan, Bijan Halder, Laxman Sen, Gobind Babu, Lalu Jaydev, Gowhar Prasad, Sanjeev, Ramprasad, Mintu, Suman Chatterjee, Riaz, Tapan Saha, Dalim, Monayem, Farooq, Basak Chatterjee and Swapan Saha are actively involved in gold smuggling in Bangladesh. Their full profile is available to investigative agencies.
Customs and law enforcement officials said, smugglers are bringing gold from Middle Eastern countries including Malaysia, Singapore and Dubai to markets in Bangladesh and India. In this work, they are using their own carriers, sometimes they are using pilots, sometimes crews, sometimes airmen for money. Moreover, aircraft cleaners, trolleymen and even engineers continue to smuggle gold by tying up with this gang. Smuggling of gold is taking place in vacuum cleaners, electric motors, various body parts, top handles of trolleys and wallets with passenger carriers.
In addition, the patient is placed in a wheelchair, anklets tied to the thigh, in shoes, inside the waistband with belt, inside the collar of shirts, sandals, hidden in soap, in the adapter of sound box, different kinds of food or medicine boxes, inside shorts under pants, inside laptop batteries and in wallets.
A gold bar is also brought as a locket hanging with a chain around the neck. A responsible officer of BGB said on condition of anonymity, BGB is always trying to prevent smuggling to protect the border. After being caught smuggling gold, smugglers change tactics, create new routes. Their profit in business is high so they also take risk. Still BGB is working.

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