Every day at least Tk 200 crore worth of illegal gold ornaments and bars are smuggled into Bangladesh using water, land and air routes across the country.
At the end of the year, this amount of smuggling stood at about 73 thousand crore rupees. However, almost all of this gold is smuggled to neighboring countries. That is, smugglers are using Bangladesh as a safe route for gold smuggling.
Bangladesh Jewelers Association (BAJUS) informed this information in a press conference organized at Bashundhara City Shopping Complex in the capital on Saturday. The organization organized this press conference to demand vigorous operation by all law enforcement agencies to stop the instability and smuggling of the jewelery sector of the country.
Bajus leaders said that they have made this speculative calculation based on intelligence information, information published in various media related to gold smuggling and their own review. But they think, this account is minimum; In fact, more gold is smuggled into the country.
Bajus director Enamul Haque Khan read the written statement at the press conference. Bajus joint editor Bidhan Malakar, director Iqbal Uddin, members Swapan Chandra Karmkar, Vikas Ghosh, Babul Rahman and Nazrul Islam were present.
Enamul Haque Khan said, smugglers use Bangladesh as a safe route to smuggle gold. This is not a word, but an established fact. Gold is smuggled to a neighboring country using our country. It must be stopped.
However, this gold trader thinks that it is not possible to stop smuggling only by enforcing the law. Enamul Haque Khan said, the country’s law and order forces are active, but their capacity needs to be increased. For this, besides providing them training and modern equipment, the Bajus leaders proposed to give up to 25 percent of the seized gold as reward. They suggested stricter laws to stop smuggling and formation of anti-gold smuggling cell involving all law enforcement agencies involving Bajus.
When asked about the demand and import of gold in the country, Enamul Haque said that there is no specific information about it. However, he said that approximately 15,000 to 20,000 loads of gold are coming to the country through the baggage rule.
According to Bajus, the country’s jewelery industry has faced a multi-faceted crisis due to excessive dollar prices and reckless smuggling in recent times. Taking advantage of this situation, a local and foreign syndicate of smugglers has spread instability in the gold market. Local peddlers and smugglers have created an artificial gold crisis and are constantly driving up the price of gold in the local bullion market. The wholesale market of gold has become hostage to this cycle of poddars.
In such a situation, the country’s law enforcement agencies, including the customs, have to launch a vigorous campaign against smugglers to reduce the volatility of the gold market. Apart from this, Bajus leaders demanded to ensure the punishment of smugglers.
According to the gold policy, the country needs 20 to 40 tonnes of gold annually, a large part of which comes from Bangladeshi nationals returning abroad and some is collected by smelting old gold. In 2019, Bangladesh Bank granted distributor license to 18 institutions including a bank to legally import gold into the country. But these institutions are not importing gold regularly, said Enamul Haque. He said, ‘About 500 kg of gold has been imported into the country since 2018. It was supposed to be so much more. I don’t understand why those who have got license are not bringing gold regularly. If this continues, this business leader suggested canceling their license.
Apart from this, Bajus leaders advised the gold traders not to sell gold ornaments without hallmarks and below four standards – 18, 21, 22 and 24. They said, Bajus will inform the law enforcement agencies against the institution if such complaints are received against anyone.