Narinjara News

Smuggled Burmese Salt raise questions in Bangladesh

Cox’s Bazar, 14 May 03: 
A huge amount of Burmese smuggled salt was seized in and around the southern town of Cox’s Bazaar last Friday, according to our correspondent.

The Bangladesh Rifles  border security guards  in a daylong anti-smuggling drive confiscated 4,400 tones of salt worth Taka thirty-five million from Islampur industrial estate and the Maheshkhali Channel.  Ten cargo boats and three trucks carrying contraband salt were also seized that day.  Burmese illegal salt was also found in six other silos in the area that operated clandestinely. 

The week before a local resident was arrested for illegal possession of US dollars that were meant for smuggling into Burma, according to the Ittefaq.  The police declined to divulge the name of the person and the amount of money he was carrying, but said the amount was ‘quite large.’

When the administrations on both sides of the border are planning to speed up legal import and export the local merchants are found to go for the illegal trade.  On inquiry a well-established businessman of the town who declined to identify told our correspondent that the bureaucratic tangle involved in the legal process of cross-border trade, especially on the Burmese side has actually deterred the local businessmen from doing legal business with Burma.

The Burmese junta should do away with all the red tape and many undeclared restrictions on goods traded in this manner if the legal trade is to be encouraged, he said.  #