Gold missing from customs locker

Prompt action needed to break the burglary syndicate

Published : 06 Sep 2023 08:21 PM

We are concerned about the burglary of gold from the vault of the customs transit go-down at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport (HSIA) in the capital Dhaka. Around 55.51 kilograms of gold worth about Taka 45 crore have been stolen from the vault on September 1.

A part of the tin-made volt was cut with a sharp object. The customs officials later identified that around 55.51 kilograms of gold seized in different drives conducted from 2020-2023 were missing from the vault.

A case has been lodged in this regard and the police are currently interrogating a number of people, and investigating CCTV footages of the area. All these gold items were seized under the DM (detention memo) criteria, as these were supposed to be released upon payment of fines and taxes.

It is almost impossible for an outsider or common person and even a thief to storm such a secure place at the airport and take away gold. On the other hand, if thieves enter, they would not take a portion of gold from a pack; they would take the whole cache.  

The camera was not working on the night of September 1 when the gold was reportedly stolen from the warehouse.

Police detained the four security guards of the customs house for interrogation. Besides, four assistant revenue officers (AROs) have also been detained for interrogation as they were in charge of the warehouse.


authorities concerned 

must break the

 syndicate and take legal 

action against the officials identified


Different crime syndicates are active at the HSIA under the very nose of civil aviation authorities, indicating the emergence of vicious circles that have undermined the decision-making authorities. Detectives have found involvement of many officials and staff of Biman, Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh and customs with various crimes including gold smuggling at airport. Biman Bangladesh Airlines staff -- from captain to cabin crew -- and Caab security officials have links with the syndicate.

It is shocking to witness the continuation of stealing of gold and other valuables from a secure place.

The government has been trying to stop all sorts of crimes and corruption by taking various measures such as installing cameras in warehouses. But the corrupt employees and officials showing thumb to the measures are easily now stealing of gold out of vault.

The chain of syndicate, the biggest racket, has not yet been broken. Therefore, we still see a series of high-profile burglary in customs department. The authorities concerned must break the syndicate and take legal action against the officials identified earlier. If the government wants to establish a graft-free administrative system in the country, at first its officials and employees must be honest, accountable and transparent.