Border points of Chuadanga haven for gold smuggling

Published : 30 Nov 2022 07:45 PM

Various border points of Darshana, Damurhuda and Maheshpur upazilas along with Goeshpur, Medinipur, Benipur and Hariharnagar borders of Jibannagar upazila of Chuadanga are being used as safe routes for gold smuggling. For a long time, at least 20 influential syndicates in the area have been smuggling 25 to 30 kg of gold per day to neighboring India through these routes. These gold smuggling syndicates are smuggling millions of Tk of gold into India every day by avoiding the eyes of the powerful administration. Administration raids often catch one or two carriers, but the masterminds remain elusive. This gold smuggling is mainly being controlled from Dubai in the Middle East. As the masterminds of this cycle are not caught, the incidence of gold smuggling is increasing day by day. The gold smuggling syndicate includes members of political parties, public representatives and journalists.

According to BGB and police sources, on Tuesday afternoon, members of Nimtala camp of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) Maheshpur-58 Battalion arrested a gold smuggler named Abdus Shukur along with 6 gold bars weighing 59 grams worth Tk 51 lakh at Akundabaria Namaksthan on the way from Darshana to Jeevannagar. Arrested Abdus Shukur told the BGB that the gold was being taken to the border for smuggling to India. On the same day, Jadavpur BOP's patrol team recovered 85 gold bars weighing 946 grams worth Tk 8.4 million from an abandoned banana plantation in Gopalpur village of Maheshpur upazila. Earlier on Saturday at 3 o'clock in the night at Chulkutia, Keraniganj, Dhaka, the members of Customs Intelligence and Investigation Directorate searched two Purbasha Paribahan and Royal Express buses bound for Jeevannagar and arrested 12 people including three Indian nationals. Later, customs detectives seized 637 loads of gold worth Tk 5 crore in their possession. According to the sources, the gold bars were being taken to the Jibannagar border to be smuggled into India. The accused are directly involved in this work and are members of the gold smuggling ring. Before that, on September 25, BGB arrested a person named Rakibul with 58 gold bars weighing 9 kg and 860 grams from Nastipur village of Damurhuda upazila. On the same day and night, the police raided the BADC junction in Chuadanga city and arrested two gold smugglers named Jewel and Arif and 5 gold bars weighing 50 grams. On September 26, Tajul Islam of Goalpara village was arrested along with 4 gold bars in front of Molla Bricks on Changkhali Road of Jibannagar Upazila. On September 29, BGB members of Maheshpur Matila camp conducted a raid and arrested a person named Shaukat Ali with 40 gold bars weighing 4 kg 665 grams. A case has been filed in the concerned police station regarding these arrests.

According to sources, gold bars smuggled from Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Malaysia and Singapore are passed through the airport by Bangladesh Airlines personnel for a commission. After that, for each gold bar weighing 10 tola, the members of gold smuggling syndicate of Jibannagar upazila took a commission of two thousand taka and brought it to Jibannagar by bus and train from Dhaka. Later, the gold smugglers took advantage of the opportunity and handed over the gold bars across the border to Indian syndicates. It is alleged that many have already become owners of crores of rupees in a short time by doing this illegal business.

Police sub-inspector Ashraful Islam, investigating officer in a gold seizure case, said Obaidullah had been leading a gold smuggling syndicate for a long time under the guise of jewelry business in Jibannagar market. After his arrest, the names and addresses of 11 members of the gold smuggling syndicate in Chuadanga district including Jibannagar have been revealed. The members of this syndicate are the masked gentlemen of the society. They will be arrested after investigation.

Allegedly, all those who have been arrested in connection with the gold smuggling case are carriers. Owners or godfathers are always out of reach. The investigating officers during the investigation interrogated the arrested persons on remand but failed to get any information about the big criminals.

Officer-in-charge of Jibannagar police station Abdul Khalek said that efforts are underway to identify those involved in gold smuggling.

BGB Maheshpur-58 battalion captain Lt. Colonel Shaheen Azad said that BGB is conducting regular operations to prevent all kinds of smuggling in different borders of Maheshpur and Jibannagar upazilas. BGB members are active in breaking gold and drug smuggling syndicates.