Benapole on rawhide smuggling alert

Jessore district administration has taken caution to prevent rawhides being smuggled out through Benapole to India

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The biggest leather market in the country after Dhaka sits at Rajarhat in Jessore. Rawhides are traded here on Saturday and Tuesday a week.

Greater Jessore Leather Businessmen’s Association General Secretary Alauddin Mukul said traders of 21 districts living along the river, the Padma, deal in leather at 200 warehouses.

“Rawhides worth around Tk 200 million sells here during every Eid-ul-Azha.”

Traders are afraid of rawhides getting smuggled out to India since an ‘influential syndicate’ appears active in buying them.
But police and Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) are said to be on alert in the relevant areas to prevent this.

Sharsha Police Station OC Abdul Jalil said additional police had been deployed at the frontiers of that area to prevent smuggling of rawhides and ensure security of the businessmen.

Along with setting up check posts, transportation of all rawhides-laden vehicles towards the frontiers has been banned, he told
bdnews24.com.

Khulna 23rd BGB Commander Lt Col Taif-ul-Haque told bdnews24.com: “All BOP camps at the border have been ordered to stay sharp. We have also increased patrols.”

Traders collect hides of sacrificial animals at Muradpur in Chittagong on Saturday. Photo: suman Babu/ bdnews24.com/ Chittagong, October 27, 2012

Traders said they were concerned with post-Eid political situation. They would face trouble with rawhides worth millions of taka if there was chaos.

Asked about the reasons to smuggle rawhides to India, a trader, Idrsi Ali Shahaji, said businesses like theirs do not get loan even though the government provides millions of taka to tannery owners in credit.

“When the tannery owners drop the price of rawhides after buying them, traders like to smuggle them out for extra money,” he said.

Another trader, Sheikh Shahidul Islam, said smugglers would take the opportunity this time due to the crisis of capital that the professional traders in rawhides were suffering.

“They [smugglers] buy rawhides from local neighbourhoods paying more than the market price. Then they hand those over to the syndicate for smuggling.”

Source: bdnews24

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