Urea Fertiliser for smuggling into Burma
Teknaf, 14 March 03: The Coast
Guards of Bangladesh last Friday night nabbed eleven people while they were
trying to smuggle a trawler-load of urea fertiliser,
according to a report in the Daily Star on 12th
The trawler was chased and seized offshore Shahpari Dweep Island
near Teknaf, in the southeastern tip of Bangladesh
as it was purportedly heading towards Burma.
The paper also demanded that a number of well-organised
rackets have long been involved in smuggling urea.
On the other hand the vast coastline between Shahpari
Dweep and Chittagong
is notorious for rampant cross-border smuggling that extends to Kolkata, Rangoon,
and even to faraway destinations like Karachi, UK
alleged many of the conscious citizens.
The goods smuggled into the country include international brand cigarettes,
beer, wristwatches, alcohol, electronic goods including home appliances and
cellular phones. The amount of smuggling, the paper alleges, runs as high as 15 to 50 million US dollars every
month. The spots where the goods are unloaded include Anwara,
Banskhali, Sitakunda and Patenga all within a fifty-kilometre radius from Chittagong.
The paper also alleged that there are two powerful smuggling syndicates
operating with 24 smaller umbrella groups in connivance with a section of the
customs, port and police personnel.
Burma being an
agricultural country depends heavily upon chemical fertilizer either imported
or smuggled from neighbouring countries. But
the military regime can hardly market enough supplies of fertilizer to meet the
demand at home. That situation has created a huge market for fertilizer
in the home front so that the smuggling rice boats from Burma
on their return usually take back tons of fertilizers with them.
In a like manner pharmaceutical products including birth control pills and
condoms that are banned items in Burma
are in hot demand, too. As Burma does not have enough pharmaceutical
production companies it has to depend upon either imported or smuggled
products, and the products from Bangladesh are both cheap and of good quality
so that they make inroads into the smuggling markets of Burma. #