Customs officials have seized 976 cartons of illegal cigarettes worth Tk32.4 lakh from two separate drives at the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka.
The preventive team of Custom House Dhaka has detained three passengers with a consignment of 724 cartons of illegal cigarettes, while the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Directorate (CIID) detained another man with 252 cartons of illegal cigarettes at the Dhaka airport.
The customs preventive team detained Akter Hossain, Omar Faruk, and Jamaluddin with cigarettes worth Tk19 lakh, Customs House Assistant Commissioner (preventive) HM Ahsanul Kabir said.
Ahsanul said: “Being tipped-off, we searched the three passengers and found 144,800 pieces of Korean Mond cigarettes from their luggage early Sunday.”
All of them are labours by profession.
Akhter and Faruk came from Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates to Dhaka on an Air Arabia flight around 3:30am, and Jamaluddin came to Dhaka on a Kuwait Airways flight from Kuwait around 3:30am Sunday, Ahsanul said.
Meanwhile, Customs Intelligence and Investigation Directorate (CIID) has detained Nur Alam Bokrul with illegal cigarettes worth Tk15.4 lakh at the Dhaka airport.
Customs Intelligence Director General (DG) Moinul Khan said the detainee came to Dhaka from Dubai via Qatar on a Gulf Airways flight around 5am on Sunday.
“Acting on a tip-off, we kept the airport baggage belt area under strict supervision and searched Nur’s luggage.
“Later, we found 50,400 pieces of illegal cigarettes from three of his luggage, Moinul Khan said.
CIID officials said the seized cigarette packets did not have warnings written in Bangla. They said they suspected the man had smuggled the products to evade the high tariff (nearly 450%) on cigarettes.
According to Bangladesh’s import policy, bringing foreign-made cigarettes without anti-smoking warning labels is prohibited.