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8 syndicates control gold smuggling from ME

  • Special Correspondent
  • 4 June, 2022 12:00 AM
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The port city of Chattogram is becoming the hotspot of gold smuggling gradually as some syndicates based in the Middle East are controlling the illegal business in the country’s commercial capital.

Chattogram customs detectives have seized two large consignments of gold in the last three days.

According to the investigation, this business is being controlled by eight active gold smuggling syndicates based in the Middle East.

Saiful of Lohagara in Chittagong lived in the Middle East. He came to the country carrying smuggled gold in exchange for only Tk 40,000.

He could not, however, avoid the scrutiny of the airport intelligence officers. After searching his body, customs officials at Chattogram Shah Amanat International Airport recovered around four kilogrammes of gold. With the help of expatriates like Saiful, smugglers have resurfaced.

"As we had clear information, we challenged the passenger and recovered the gold bars from his possession after searching his body," said AKM Sultan Ahmed, deputy director of Chattogram Customs Intelligence.

According to customs intelligence officials, the smugglers were taken behind the bar several times, but the police investigation took a long time. As a result, the accused was released from prison and returned to gold smuggling again.

"First, the concerned police station investigates the case. If the cops believe the case requires further investigation, they refer it to PBI, CID, or DB. As a result, the investigation takes a long time, and the accused sometimes goes to the High Court to seek bail. We are unable to demonstrate much in this situation," said Bashir Ahmed, additional director general of the Chattogram CIID.

"As the value of the dollar has increased, gold is being smuggled into the country in large quantities. Our security system has been beefed up to curb such crimes, and every piece of luggage is being scanned," said Mizanur Rahman, joint commissioner of Chattogram Airport Customs.

The Chattogram Customs Authority has requested law enforcement agencies to be more vigilant in their efforts to combat gold smuggling.