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Smuggling of gold in novel ways on Dubai-Sylhet route: Masterminds remain untouched

Sylhet MAG Osmani International Airport seems to have turned into a gold mine as the precious metal is being recovered from the passengers of Biman Bangladesh Airlines flight coming from Dubai in a regular interval.

The passengers are bringing the gold worth crores of taka from Dubai to the country using different innovative ways. Although customs detectives are detaining the carriers along with the gold consignment but the main culprits remained untouched.

Police and detectives believe that the detained persons are only the carriers but the powerful leaders of the international smuggling ring remained out of sight. So, it is not possible to stop the gold smuggling from Dubai for the reason.

In the latest case, customs officials arrested a man named Mainul Islam Shakil along with 1.16kg gold at Osmani International Airport in Sylhet on Thursday morning.

The gold worth Tk 80 lakh was recovered from the bag of Mainul, a resident of Jaintapur upazila of Sylhet and arrived from Dubai.

The gold was melted and cast into the shapes of the appliances.

Earlier, on May 27, Customs authorities seized 1.16 kg of gold from a passenger arriving from Dubai at the airport.

The detainee, Md Ali Ahmed, is a native of Ujan Meherpur village in Golapganj Upazila.

The gold bars worth Tk 80 lakh were hidden inside a nebuliser, used by asthma patients and others suffering from respiratory distress.

On December 27, four passengers of Biman Bangladesh Airlines were arrested at Sylhet Osmani International Airport and seized several chunks of gold weighing 11.2 kilograms from their possession.

The arrestees are Makbul Ali of Kayasthagram village, Bashir Uddin of Keuria Haor village and Sultan Ahmed of Banshbari village in Kanaighat upazila of Sylhet and Sheikh Md Zahid of Nabiganj upazila in Habiganj.

The gold chunks were hidden inside ironing machines and juice making device.

The market price of the seized gold is around Tk 7 crore, added the official.

Mohammed Al Amin, deputy commissioner of the Customs, Excise and VAT Commissionerate in Sylhet, said they handed over the arrested persons to police after the filing of cases in this connection. Later, police investigate the issue and the customs have nothing to do on it.

Sylhet Metropolitan Police deputy commissioner Azbahar Ali Sheikh said the main group of the smuggling ring remain abroad. Those who were caught are basically carriers. The detained carriers could not provide any detailed information about the smugglers on both sides.  So, it was not possible to identify or arrest the masterminds of the smugglers.