Saturday, July 20, 2024

Smuggling thru airport soaring

Law enforcers at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport have arrested a dozen people, during the last four months, and seized foreign currency, gold ornaments and other valuables worth about Tk. 15 crore. The confiscated valuables were being smuggled to various countries through the premier airport of the country.
According to the Airport Police Station, personnel of Armed Police Battalion (APBn) and Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) arrested four people in January and recovered from them 5,870 mobile phones, 110 Indian saris and foreign currencies worth about Tk. 2.10 crore.
In February, members of APBn and the customs surveillance team arrested three persons and recovered a huge amount of foreign currencies and 800.46 gm of gold ornaments worth about Tk. 6.50 crore.
In March, APBn members held a person and recovered from him digital cameras worth about Tk. 12.30 lakh.
In April, a team of customs and APBn personnel seized the luggage of four Singapore-bound passengers and recovered from them 4.54 kg of gold, 30 pieces of Vishnu idols and 570 mobile phone LCDs.
According to intelligence and investigation officials, local leaders of international smuggling gangs are behind such activities with help from a section of air-hostesses.
Sources said the smugglers are protected by various crime syndicates that have an unholy alliance with corrupt officials of police, intelligence, airport customs, Bangladesh Biman and the Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh. The agencies can’t garner sufficient evidence to nail the smugglers because of the nexus. As a result, members of law enforcement agencies have always failed to arrest the kingpin of the smugglers who use the airport as a transit point.
However, the officer in charge of Airport Police Station, Shamsuddin Saleh Ahmed Chowdhury, told The Independent that smuggling valuables through airports has decreased due to intensified vigilance by law-enforcing agencies.
“We are taking arrested smugglers on remand to record their confessions and grilling them to identify the kingpin of the racket. It’s a difficult task to identify the kingpin,” he said.
He also said the arrested smugglers do not want to make any statement for fear of implicating any “friendly” official. “If anyone from the police is found involved with smuggling, stern action will be taken against the person,” he added.

 

Courtesy of The Independent

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