Thousands of barrels of fuel being smuggled thru' Benapole border

Fuel is now hot item among smugglers of bordering areas in the southwestern region of the country and the syndicate smuggling fuel is well orchestrated and the strategy and routes of smuggling are constantly being changed.

bdnews24.com
Published : 30 May 2005, 12:00 PM
Updated : 30 May 2005, 12:00 PM
Jessore, May 31 (BDNEWS) – Fuel is now hot item among smugglers of bordering areas in the southwestern region of the country and the syndicate smuggling fuel is well orchestrated and the strategy and routes of smuggling are constantly being changed.
It was gathered from different sources, markets of Bangla oil have developed across the Benapole border in different places of India including Joyantipur, Baira, Pirozpur, Bagda, Angrail, Matiganj and Shutia. These Bangla oils are petrol, diesel and octane, which are smuggled into India from Bangladesh.
An on-the-spot visit to the bordering areas reveals the fact that oil is smuggled randomly through Boalia, Dhannaykhola, Ghiba and Raghunathpur via Duppara of Sharsha upazila in Jessore.
The smugglers carry fuel pass given by several UP chairmen and police ticket. Several van drivers said, police is given from Tk 20 to Tk 130 per barrel or container.
Local sources said, Indian trucks enter Bangladesh with empty oil tankers but they return with their tankers full of oil. Everyday about 300 to 350 trucks enter Benapole port with imported goods.
An oil tanker of Indian truck can contain 200 to 250 litres of oil. And to smuggle oil numerous open storehouses of fuel have already been erected around the Benapole Port Truck Terminal. Though BDR personnel sometimes launch drive the smuggling restarts with the help of police, alleged locals.
Meanwhile, Cow traders of Bangladesh said, Indian cow sellers are now not willing to sell their cows in exchange of money due to devaluation of money rather they prefer fuel for the cows.
When asked Jessore BDR acting commanding officer major Sarwar acknowledged the lack of manpower compared to requirement to combat oil smuggling.
"Whenever BDR beefs up security on the border to prevent fuel smuggling local people's representatives put pressure on them by saying about the problems of farmers of bordering areas. It is Local UP chairmen who give fuel pass to farmers and businessmen in the locality, he added.
A field visit to a small market in the bordering areas shows that almost every businessman has a fuel pass. Some of them even possess more than one pass given by the local UP chairmen. Fuel smugglers are getting unbridled due to the gulf of difference between the prices of fuel.
BDNEWS/1514 hrs
Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher