FBCCI president Abdul Matlub Ahmad has claimed that authorities have not done enough to stop smuggling of gold into Bangladesh.
He made the comment at a seminar on Saturdayin the presence of finance minister and the chief of National Board of Revenue (NBR).
“Every day we see people getting caught while trying to smuggle gold. But the real culprits remain elusive.”
“I really want to know who these people are who are bringing in these gold,” said Ahmad.
He urged the authorities to do more than merely confiscating the smuggled goods and catching the ‘mules.’
Customs Intelligence and Investigation Directorate (CIID) chief Moinul Khan read out the key note paper at the seminar on ways to combat smuggling and tax evasion.
He said in the past three years three tonnes of gold worth Tk 14.5 billion were seized and 130 persons were arrested by the customs for smuggling gold.
Due to alertness of intelligence agencies another 18,000 kilograms of gold was prevented from being smuggled in.
The seized gold had been handed over to the Bangladesh Bank.
“Gold is found in (airport) restrooms, inside people’s stomach. As citizens it is a matter of shame for us,” Ahmad said.
“How can anyone keep gold bars in the aircraft without help from insiders,” he said.
“Those who are getting caught are merely leaves of a tree. If one falls, ten more will grow in its place.
“No one’s really doing anything to uproot the entire smuggling ring.”
‘Smuggling helps organised crime’
Finance Minister AMA Muhith said smuggling also attribute to the growth of terrorism.
Security at the borders had been bolstered to prevent smuggling, he said in his speech.
“Three unwanted things enter our country through our borders. These are gold, cocaine and currency.”
“We’ve been talking about borderless countries for a long time. This is our dream. But that dream is fading because of the internal situations of various countries.”