How illegal goods are entering Bangladesh from India

DhakaTribune || Shining BD

Published: 3/31/2024 5:33:56 AM
Smugglers using motorcycles to smuggle goods from Indian border, March 30,2024. Photo: Dhaka Tribune

Smugglers using motorcycles to smuggle goods from Indian border, March 30,2024. Photo: Dhaka Tribune

Indian sarees, dresses, imitation jewelry, crockery, and spices have flooded the markets in border markets around Satkhira’s Kalaroa Upazila as these products are entering the country freely through Kalaroa border ahead of the Eid-ul-Fitr.

According to sources, these contraband goods are entering the country throughout the day. 

They say that the border fences at several spots in the Dagna border area have been cut to facilitate smugglers during the Eid season. 

There are also a number of boats operating in Ichamati and Sonai rivers to carry these goods deep into Bangladesh. 

Sources further said that there is an immense demand for Indian clothes, jewelry, and cosmetics items in Bangladesh. To cash on the sudden rise in demand, traders bring various contraband items through these border points. Traders also bring spices and food items that include onions, garlic, chickpeas, ginger, salt, semolina, cumin, pepper, cinnamon, cloves and cardamom. Household items such as bulb lights and fans are also brought illegally through these border points. 

Apart from this, different types of drugs also land in Bangladesh through these illegal channels. 

Sources said that pickup vans, trucks and ambulances are used to carry these goods to various districts from Jessore. They are loaded from a quiet place at night and are delivered at different districts overnight. 

Some of these goods are also sent to local markets including Bagachhara, Bakra, Kalaroa, Keshabpur, Rajganj, Monirampur, Nawapara, Patkelghat and Chuknagar Bazar by motorbikes, or three-wheelers at night.

Local traders said that consumers are more interested in cheap Indian products during the Eid season. As a result, domestic products in the same categories are facing an existential crisis. At the same time, the government is losing a huge amount of money in taxes.

In this regard, Afzal Hossain, company commander of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) at Madra outpost of Madra, said that security has been strengthened in the area to prevent these contraband items from entering the country. He said that the border in his area is completely sealed and that the Indian goods might have come through other areas.

In this regard, Acting Upazila Nirbahi Officer Rifatul Islam refrained from commenting on the issue over the phone while Upazila Chairman Aminul Islam Laltu said he does not know anything about goods coming into the country illegally.

Shining BD