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Gold smuggling thru waterway

60CHITTAGONG:  Gold smuggling into the country from abroad is now reportedly taking place through waterway as strict vigilance was put on the airports in the wake of huge hauls of the precious metal.

Sources said smugglers now apparently opt for waterways for smuggling gold and gold ornaments safely into Bangladesh amid frequent seizure of gold.

Chittagong Metropo-litan Police seized a huge consignment of gold bars and ornaments smuggled into the country through the waterway.

On information, a team of police raided a godown of electronic appliances at Anu Majhir Ghat in Majhirghat area of the port city on Wednesday night.

The gold bars and gold ornaments were wrapped up with carbon papers inside electronic appliances like microwave woven, air conditioner and home theatre tactfully.

The appliances were imported by a firm, AC Mela, whose owners are Farid, Jasim and Bhabatosh Biswas Rana, police said.

During the drive, Jasim’s younger brother, Emran, and godown manager Titu were arrested in connection with the gold smuggling.

A total of 120 gold bars and gold ornaments weighing around 19.063 kilograms were recovered from the appliances before sealing off the godown, said Assistant Commissioner (Kotwali Zone) Shah Mohammad Abdur Rauf.

Sub-inspector Anwar Hossain who led the drive said illegal gold was being delivered from the godown located beside Madarbari Police Camp.

CMP Commissioner Abdul Jalil Mondal visited the spot and told journalists that gold bars and gold ornaments were smuggled from Dubai in the name of electric and electronic items.

AC Abdur Rauf told daily sun, “AC Mela” is owned by three persons — Farid, Jasim and Bhabotosh Biswas Rana. They have four showrooms in Chittagong.

In primary interrogation, the arrested confessed that the importer has a courier service named “Door to Door” in Sharjah. They bring different electric and electronic items and other goods of people, including Bangladeshi expatriates, said Rauf.

“Smugglers sent the gold kept tactfully inside body of the appliances after wrapping those in carbon papers. The gold perhaps could not be detected in scanning due to the carbon papers,” he added.

However, drives were being carried out to nab the main culprits and filing a case was under process, he further said.

Additional Deputy Commissioner (ADC-South) Mizanur Rahman, who earlier served at the immigration police, said smugglers probably chose the waterway due to the frequent seizure of gold at the airports.

This is the first that the consignment of gold was seized after it reached the country through waterway, he informed.