Five detained after Customs seizes huge amount of Indian rupees in container at Chittagong Port

Customs intelligence has detained five people over the smuggling of huge amount of Indian rupees into Bangladesh through the Chittagong Port.

Published : 21 Sept 2015, 03:04 PM
Updated : 22 Sept 2015, 02:37 PM

Customs officials, however, are not certain whether the rupees, amounting to nearly 27.2 million, are genuine or counterfeit currencies.

Bangladesh had no machine to identify counterfeit foreign currencies, Customs Intelligence and Investigation’s Director General Mainul Khan told reporters on Monday.

“Most of the Indian currencies seized in Bangladesh were counterfeit and that might be the case with these as well,” he said.

The rupees were found in four cartons in a container on Sunday night.

The container was brought through Clearing and Forwarding (C&F) agent Flash Trade International, Khan said.

Huge amount of Indian currency notes seized from a container that arrived from Dubai at the Chittagong port. Photo: suman babu

Its Chairman ASM Sayem alias Shamimur Rahman was detained from Halishohor over the seizure, he said. 
The firm’s Managing Director Md Asadullah, employees Md Ahammad Ullah and Md Kausar Alam were held from some other places, he said.
The other is Md Touhidul Alam, brother of the container’s sender Bangladeshi expatriate in Dubai ‘Shahiduzzaman’, according to Customs intelligence DG Khan.
Customs intelligence Assistant Director Syed Mokaddes Hossain said the counting ended at around 8pm after nearly eight hours.
Besides rupees 27.1735 million in four cartons, 500 grams of gold ornaments were found, he said.  
DG Khan said the container was loaded onto Marshall Island’s flag carrier MV Prosper at the Port of Jebel Ali in Dubai on Sep 12.
The ship reached Chittagong port through Colombo on Sep 16, he said. The rupees had been placed in 16 boxes in the four cartons.
Khan said home appliances were used to camouflage the rupees and termed the incident ‘a part of transnational crime’.
“Those linked to the matter locally and internationally will be marked in investigation.”
The Customs intelligence DG said he suspected these currencies were destined for somewhere else and that Bangladesh was only a ‘transit’.
He said that two more containers would also be inspected.
Indian revenue intelligence has long alleged that Pakistani agencies were involved in huge production of fake Indian currency notes in the Middle East, which were then shipped back to South Asia for entry into India.
During the last years, India says it has received much cooperation from Bangladesh and Nepal in busting these Pakistan-inspired fake currency rackets that Delhi sees as part of Islamabad's 'covert economic warfare' to undermine India's national economy.