Allegedly Valuable Imported Goods are being stolen from various sheds of country's largest land port, Benapole Land Port in Jashore. As a result, the government is being deprived of a large amount of revenue.
The port user organizations have not received any solution even after complaining to the authorities more than once. There is constant resentment between the customs and the port over the theft of imported goods.
In particular, the theft of customs auction goods is most common. Customs officials say 1,102 tonnes of high-quality shirting and paintings were stolen from the port's Shed No 1. The importer of those items was HB International of Benapole.
However, the Customs authorities detained the charges making a false declaration. The consignment was later sold in auction at Tk 61 lakh.
The auctioneer confirmed the theft while taking delivery of the shipment of Nova Enterprise goods from Benapole port. The auctioneer immediately notified the port authorities.
On the other hand, Sun World Trade, an importer from Khulna, imported 19,91,320 kg of broken stone from India which was stored in the TTI of the port. The consignment was later found about 18 lakh 91 thousand three hundred and twenty kg less.
The customs authorities have issued a letter to the port authorities regarding the matter. The auctioneer, Mohammad Ali Khan, owner of Nova Enterprise in Benapole, said, “A strong thief syndicate has formed in the port led by Deputy Director Mamun Tarafder. They are directly involved in revenue evasion and theft of goods.”
The organizations of the port users have complained to the authority. The port has a total of 42 sheds, each of which has an external Tandel or thief they alleged.
According to sources, 2 million metric tonnes of goods are imported from India through Benapole port every year. The government earns about Tk 6,000 crore revenue from this annually.
According to Benapole Custom House sources, In the fiscal year 2019-20, 18 lakh 6 thousand 626 metric tons of various types of goods were imported through Benapole port.
In the first five months of the current fiscal year 2020-21, the revenue target was Tk two thousand five hundred and eight crore and eight lakh. But, only Tk one thousand five hundred and nine crore 79 lakh revenue was collected in that period.
According to port officials, outsiders are entering freely even though security guards are on duty at every gate of the port. Unauthorized people are entering the port despite the port being a bonded KPI area and the port authorities have no problem with that.
Abdul Latif, joint general secretary of the Benapole Importers and Exporters Association said, “Goods are being stolen from the port through the syndicate.