Narinjara News

Why is Dollar increasingly smuggled into Burma?

Teknaf, 5 September 03: 
The smuggling of dollar has gone up since the imposition of US sanctions on Burma, according to sources in the Burma  Bangladesh border.  Recently in an emergency meeting of the National Smuggling Prevention Committee under the Ministry of Home Affairs of Bangladesh a decision was taken to curb the illegal money laundering and transfer business and smuggling rampant on the Bangladesh  Burma border, reported the Ajker Desh Bidesh, a Bengali daily published from the southeastern Bangladeshi town of Coxs Bazar on 27 August. 

A list of smugglers and illegal money traders has been compiled to this effect under the supervision of the Ministry.  There are reports of a number of international syndicates engaged in the illegal trade of smuggling US dollar into Burma.  The dollar is being smuggled regularly from the chief seaport of the country in Chittagong to the western Burmese Rakhine State via Ukhia and Teknaf in Coxs Bazaar district.  Though the exact figure of the smuggled dollar in not available, a rough estimate would be between one-third to a half-million dollar a week, which is being conducted by managing the border guards and administrations on both sides of the border.

The paper also mentioned that there are eight dollar traffickers in Teknaf municipality, 3 in Sabrang, 4 in Shah-pari Island, 13 in Hnila Bazaar and 5 in Ukhia under Coxs Bazaar district.  They are alleged to have maintained a strong international syndicate of dollar traffickers.

From another source it has been known that there is a famine going on in the western part of Rakhine State of Burma, especially in Buthidaung and Maungdaw Townships, which sent the price of a 50 kg bag of rice to 12,000 kyat from the previous price of kyat 8,000 just a month ago in Sittwe, the state capital. Besides rice has also vanished from the open market from last month. Meanwhile many of the traders are offering advance money in dollars for hording rice.   This has created a famine like situation, especially in the border areas.#