Shooters face NBR interrogation

Sports Correspondent

7 July, 2020 12:00 AM printer

Shooters face NBR interrogation

Abdullah Hel Baki, second left, is seen along with other shooters at the National Board of Revenue premises on Sunday – Courtesy

National Board of Revenue (NBR) Customs Intelligence and Investigation Directorate (CIID) is interrogating 14 shooters of Bangladesh Shooting Sport Federation (BSSF) for allegedly keeping or using air guns for competitions without license or any other valid papers.

NBR sent two letters with the list of shooters to BSSF last week asking the shooters to provide some information. The information inquired was related to foreign tours, passport, national ID, address, contact numbers and email IDs.

Abdullah Hel Baki, Shakil Ahmed, Arnab Sharar, Md Abu Sufian, Md Rabbi Hasan Munna, Risalatul Islam, Mehedi Shovon, Ardina Ferdous, Syeda Atkia Hasan Disha are also included in the lists. Among them Baki, Arnab, Munna have already submitted their documents to the customs intelligence on Sunday while the rest of the shooters are asking for more time.

Country’s celebrated shooter, Baki, confirmed the report to daily sun and said, “I have submitted documents to NBR along with three other shooters. I can't say anything more.”

Requesting anonymity, another national shooter said, “The Federation isn’t supporting us. When we achieve something, everyone comes to stake their claim. But now, no one is stepping forward to support us. We are feeling disappointed.”

BSSF President Nazimuddin Chowdhury told daily sun on Monday that the interrogations would impact shooters as they were not accustomed to the situation.

“NBR sent letters with the name of 14 shooters to us on June 26 or June 27. There is a common allegation against our shooters that they keep or use air guns for competitions without license or any other valid papers. NBR told the shooters to provide information regarding their foreign tours, passports, national ID, addresses, contact numbers and email ID. We’re trying to help them in every possible way. I understand they were not accustomed to the situation, Interrogations will obviously impact them,” he said.

According to the Import Policy Order 2015-18, the import of air guns is banned, but sports and shooting clubs can import these guns with the permission of Ministry of Home Affairs. BSSF Executive Committee decided that shooters have to submit ‘valid paper’ for air guns before taking part in any competitions or training camps organised by the federation. The decision was taken in an online meeting of BSSF on June 6.

“We formed an investigation committee last year after some allegations were made against our Secretary General. According to their report, some of our shooters have been using air guns in the competitions without any valid papers such as cash memo. These are not ordinary sporting equipment. They can’t keep these arms without any valid papers. If those were gifts, they can submit Customs clearance as valid paper,” the BSSF boss added.

Shooters can submit cash memo or customs clearance paper as valid papers. But a very small number of shooters are financially able to buy their air guns or pay its taxes as most of them just get these air guns as gifts from sponsors. It could create a new crisis for the country's shooters.

National shooter Shakil Ahmed, who is also representing Bangladesh Army, is waiting for a letter from the federation regarding this issue.  “I knew about it, and talked with the federation. Some of us got emails from BSSF, but I haven’t got anything yet. The Federation told me that they would help me,” said Shakil.

Shakil also believes that this new issue can cause problems for many shooters. “This decision may affect our shooters. Most of them have no valid papers for their guns. I request the federation not to take such a decision. They should think about shooters,” he ended.