Customs and revenue detectives from Bangladesh and India are set to sit for the first time to strengthen cooperation to fight smuggling, money laundering and tax evasions through cross-border movement of goods and people.
The two-day meet will begin on March 31 at the InterContinental Dhaka, said Md Shahidul Islam, director general of the Customs Intelligence & Investigation Directorate (CIID), at a press briefing at the CIID headquarters yesterday.
Islam will lead the Bangladesh side while Debi Prasad Dash, director general of the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence of India, will head the visiting team during the talks.
“We hope our fight to prevent smuggling, money laundering and duty evasion will be easier thanks to enhanced cooperation,” said Islam.
The meeting takes place at a time when customs detectives frequently seize smuggled gold and other items and many officials believe that Bangladesh is used as a route to smuggle the bullion to India, one of the biggest consumers of the precious metal.
Both sides will discuss measures to curb smuggling of gold, fake currency, wild life and drugs, according to Islam.
Revenue officials will also talk about establishing hot lines, sharing secret information, conducting surveillance on the movement of passengers, and strengthening the monitoring of trade consignments to rein in duty evasion.
After China, India is the second largest trading partner of Bangladesh in terms of imports.
The country buys capital machinery, chemicals, truck chassis, motor parts, petroleum products, cosmetics, and clothing items from India.
Bangladesh imported 1.85 crore tonnes of products valued Tk 85,209 crore in 2017-18 and exported 9.17 lakh tonnes of products worth Tk 7,617 crore to India, according to the CIID.
Tk 21,447 crore in revenue was collected from the imports from India, Islam said.