LALMONIRHAT, Feb 14 : Different border points in Lalmonirhat have turned into a transit route for smuggling of Indian cows. More than 15 identified syndicates are smuggling several thousand Indian cows into the country through the border points in the district daily depriving the government of crores of taka revenue every month.
The Border Guard Bangladesh BGB and members of other concerned law enforcing agencies despite being well aware of it keep mum about the matter as they allegedly receive handsome kickback from the smugglers' syndicate, border people alleged.
Border areas people confirmed at least two thousand Indian cows are taken into Bangladesh regularly and these are sold openly at different hats (markets) and then these Indian cows are send to the capital Dhaka and other parts of the country by trucks.
Indian cows enter the Bangladesh territory illegally though Sree Rampur, Islampur, Panbari, Kuchlibari, Jongra and Bawra points under Patgram upazila, Barokhata, Doikhowa and Singimari points under Hatibandha upazila, Chandrapur and Chaparhat under Kaliganj upazila, Haziganj and Durgapur under Aditmari upazila and Mogholhat, Kulaghat and Gorakmandol border points under sadar upazila of the district, border sources said.
The Islampur Customs Corridor Inspector Ranbir Chandra Roy said, only 100 to 150 Indian cows are brought into the country legally through Islampur customs corridor under Patgram upazila in the district everyday paying revenue Tk 500 for each, reducing the government revenue income. The government revenue earnings would have been more than Tk 10 lakh per day had all the Indian cows entered legally through the Islampur corridor.
These Indian cows are sold at Patgram, Bawra, Jagotber, Barokhata, Doikhowa, Chaparhat, Votmari, Durgapur, Saptibari and Durakuti markets openly under the nose of the law enforcers.
Although the government is deprived of huge amount of revenue, the smugglers' syndicate, hat leaseholders and concerned law enforcers make a fast buck through the illegal trade. Of the evaded Tk 500 revenue for each of the cow, Tk 100 is given to hat leaseholder and Tk 100 to the law enforcers and rest amount other for smuggler syndicate, one of the leaseholders of big cattle market of the district Patgram hat under Patgram upazila said on condition of anonymity.
The source also said men of the law enforcing agencies come to the cattle markets for allegedly taking bribe from the smugglers.
Contacted to the Assistant Commissioner AC of Lalmonirhat customs vat and tax office Ridwan Islam said, it is the duty for BGB to resist Indian cattle smuggling at border areas. Custom official only collect revenue.
"If the law enforcing agencies increase their patrol and vigilance in the border areas, smuggling of the Indian cows though the frontiers will decrease but increase the quantity of Indian cows in legal way and the government revenue earnings from Islampur customs corridor will increase to a large extent," he said.
However the Commanding Officer CO of Lalmonirhat 15 Battalion of BGB Lieutenant Colonel Shafiul Alam Khan said, BGB men are always hard vigilance for cattle smuggling and conduct vigilance at different border hats (markets) regarding the matter. Custom officials should take initiative to encourage bordering for giving govt revenue on Indian cattle, BGB CO said adding he will increase BGB's vigilance on Indian cattle for increasing government revenue in the district.