Scanning machine inoperative, free smuggling of gold at Benapole Customs



Senior Staff Correspondent, Barta24.com,Benapole(Jashore)
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As 3 out of 4 scanning machines used for goods inspection and baggage search of passport holders at Benapole port have been inoperable for 5 long months, safe trade and passport holder passengers are at risk.

Criminals cross the Bangladesh side freely but are detained in India with gold bars. Border guard BSF has arrested 36 people along with around 20 kg gold bars at Petrapole port in India in the last 5 months.

Among them are 20 passengers with passports, 10 truck drivers transporting goods and 6 drivers and helpers of Shyamoli NR Paribahan. It has been alleged that an active syndicate of Customs and external NGO workers has been aiding and abetting smuggling in various ways. RA used to search passengers' baggage at customs for about 5 months to keep the syndicate active

The scanning machine has been destroyed. The customs authorities have no intention of repairing the machine. And on this opportunity, smugglers are running their activities every day.

Meanwhile, Fiber Associates, the contractor engaged in monitoring the scanning machine, said that the customs authorities have been informed to take necessary measures. However, Customs says they are trying to repair the malfunctioning scanning machine.

It is known that the Chinese government gave 4 scanner machines as a gift to Bangladesh 6 years ago to strengthen commercial relations. A scanner has been installed at the cargo entry gate on the port's bypass road, increasing the risk to safe trade at the Benapole port.

The state-of-the-art machine is capable of detecting falsely declared goods such as chemicals, drugs, weapons in cargo trucks. Besides, 3 more scanning machines were installed at Benapole Checkpost Customs funded by NBR to prevent smuggling on immigration customs route. The scanning machine is operated by Fiber Associates, a contractor on behalf of Customs. A mobile scanner of customs and two scanners of customs immigration have been completely shut down due to mechanical failure for the last 6 months due to occasional damage. They require huge sums of money to repair them.

But as per the agreement, the customs expenses are supposed to be borne, so the activities of Scanning 3 are currently completely stopped due to not taking the necessary measures so far. Due to the inability to redeem essential products including garments, trade is disrupted and opportunities for smuggling are increasing day by day.

According to sources, BSF arrested Indian truck driver Suraj Mog with 7 kg gold bars from Petrapole port on November 1 and Abdul Jahab Mallik with 17 gold bars on November 27.

On September 26, BSF arrested an Indian truck driver named Sanjeev with 6 gold bars.

Apart from this, BSF arrested Shyamoli NR Paribahan driver Mohammad Delwar and supervisor Samim Mahmud along with 11 gold bars.

Benapole Customs arrested a passport holder named Mehdi Hasan with 2 gold bars on January 29 and Nasreen Akhtar Same with 76 thousand 500 USD on January 30.

Apart from this, falsely declared products and Viagra, Phensedyl, large shipments of hemp have also been seized at Benapole port.

Some passport holders going to India said that the harassment has increased as the scanning machine at the customs immigration is closed. He opened the bag and scattered the things. But the smugglers continue their work by managing the customs. Their bags are not opened on the other side, which will be evidenced by the CCTV cameras of customs and ports.

International Affairs Secretary of Benapole C&F Agent Association, Sultan Mahmud Bipul said, "It is important to start scanning activities to keep trade safe. The opportunities for irregularity and smuggling are increasing due to long days of closure.

Boni Amin, in-charge of Benapole office of Fiber Associates, a contractor engaged in monitoring the scanning machine, said, 'Customs has been requested to fix the damaged scanning. But till now, 3 scanning machines have been stopped as it is not fixed.

Rezaul Karim, director of Benapole land port, said, 'It is important to keep the scanning machines operational to ensure the safety of trade and passenger traffic. A letter has been sent to customs to resolve it quickly.

Mohammad Hafizul Islam, Joint Commissioner of Benapole Customs House said, "Necessary steps have been taken to start the scanning machines quickly. For now, the suspected cargo truck and the passenger's bag are being opened.

   

CID has found the involvement of Bodi's two brothers in drug smuggling



Staff Correspondent, Barta24.com
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Police's Criminal Investigation Department (CID) said that Aminur Rahman and Abdur Sukkur, two brothers of Teknaf's former MP Abdur Rahman Bodi, are associated with Cox's Bazar-based drug trade.

Additional IGP Muhammad Ali Mia said this in response to a question from journalists at a press conference organized at the CID's media center in Malibagh in the capital on Wednesday (April 17) in the afternoon regarding the confiscation of assets of drug lords.

The CID chief said action will be taken against those found involved with drugs, whoever he is. We found the involvement of his (Bodi's) brothers and their followers. We will interrogate Bodi's two brothers and if his (Bodi's) name comes up there we will also arrest him. No one will be exempted in the matter of drugs.

Asked about the role of Bodi's two brothers, the CID chief said that Aminur Rahman and Abdur Sukkur brought Yaba from Myanmar in different ways. After that they are delivered to different places by their assigned associates. Already 6.9 acres of land belonging to Bodi’s brothers has been identified. Besides, the information of 40 percent of the land worth Tk. one crore has been found. Land information has not been digitized yet. As a result, the work of collecting this information is going on at the field level in various ways. We can give more details about this later.

Initially, the CID investigated 35 cases and found various movable and immovable properties including money (kept in bank accounts), purchased land, houses and flats illegally earned from the drug business of the godfathers of drug cases. The amount of illegally earned money in these cases is about Tk. 178.44 crore.

Additional IGP Mohammad Ali Mia said that CID has already frozen 9.14 acres of land and 2 houses worth Tk. 8.11 crore of the godfathers in 3 cases of croc and drug related money laundering and Tk. 1 crore 1 lakh 23 thousand 425 kept in the bank in various cases. Another 35.173 acres of land, 12 houses and 1 car valued at Tk. 36.82 crores are in process of sale.

The CID chief said, you know that at least 80 thousand drug recovery cases are registered in the country every year. Most of those arrested are drug peddlers and users. At times, investigating officers end their investigations within these two categories. As a result, the original godfathers of drugs remained hidden. But since 2021, the CID has taken the initiative of arresting the drug godfathers and collecting the assets and depositing them in the government coffers. This will create a panic among the drug dealers of the country. They will leave the drug trade and do legitimate business. Besides, no one will be encouraged to join this profession. Because you know drug is a capital less business. As a result, many people get involved in illegal business to take advantage of easy income. 

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11 killed in three-way collision between private- truck and auto



Staff Correspondent, Barta24.com
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Eleven people were killed in a three-way collision between a truck-private car and an auto-rickshaw on Gabkhan bridge area of Jhalkathi. Several people were injured in this incident.

The accident happened on Wednesday (April 17) at noon.

This was confirmed by Jhalakathi Superintendent of Police Mohammad Afruzul Haque Tutul.

According to eyewitnesses and the police, there were many vehicles including easy bikes and private cars waiting to pay money at the toll Plaza of Gabkhan Bridge. Meanwhile, a cement truck hit all the vehicles in front and broke the barrier and went to the side of the road. This accident happened.

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The ceremony of Mujibnagar Day started with the hoisting of the national flag



District Correspondent, Barta24.com
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The historic Mujibnagar Day celebrations started with the hoisting of the national flag at the Mujibnagar Memorial in Meherpur. The day is being celebrated at Mujibnagar Amrakanan in Meherpur through various programs.

Mujibnagar Upazila Nirbahi Officer Khairul Islam and OC of Mujibnagar police Station Ujjal Kumar Dutt started the day by hoisting the national flag in front of the Mujibnagar Memorial at 6 o'clock on Wednesday (April 17).

Also, the main ceremony will start at 9 am. Minister of Liberation War A.K.M Mozammel Haque, Minister of Public Administration Forhad Hossain and other central leaders of Awami League will pay tribute to the martyrs by laying wreaths at the Mujibnagar Memorial.

Later there will be a parade, hoisting of the national flag, guard of honor and musical entertainment. A huge public meeting will begin at the Sheikh Hasina stage. Central Awami League Joint General Secretary AFM Bahauddin Nasim will preside. Awami League presidium member Kazi Zafarullah will speak as the chief guest.

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BNP must be defeated to consolidate victory: Obaidul Quader



Staff Correspondent, Barta24.com
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Obstacles in the way of consolidating victory are communal, terrorist, evil forces like BNP. Awami League General Secretary and Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader commented that this force must be defeated and resisted.

He said this to reporters after paying tribute to the portrait of Bangabandhu in front of the Bangabandhu Bhavan in Dhanmondi on the occasion of the historic Mujibnagar Day on Wednesday (April 17) morning.

We got our independence only through the Mujibnagar first government. Obaidul Quader said in response to the question that after getting independence, what achievements are left for us that we have not yet accomplished, I have said in my speech that there is still to be achieved. Obstacles in the way of consolidating victory are communal, terrorist, evil forces like the BNP. This power must be defeated, resisted.

He said, today we will defeat, overcome and resist the anti-freedom terrorist forces, all the evil forces who are obstacles in the way of our prosperity and we will take our fight forward. The dream of victory is on the way.

Regarding the demand of BNP to declare the day as Republic Day, Awami League General Secretary said, I cannot say anything about any demand in isolation. There is a Cabinet, there is a Prime Minister. It is also necessary to know why they are raising the demand after so many years.

He said that on this day we will take an oath in the spirit of the liberation war and we will move forward in a continuous struggle to build Bangabandhu's dream of Sonar Bangla under the leadership of Bangabandhu's daughter Sheikh Hasina. We will carry the dream of Bangabandhu to the Mujib Bengal of 2100 to build a developed and prosperous Bangladesh, this is our oath.

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