The smugglers would make the trip from OLD Dhaka to Benapole twice a week, and they were paid Tk7,000 each time
The Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) has detained five members of an international gold smuggling ring with 11kg of gold in Gabtoli.
The detainees were identified as Rezaul, 35, Md Oliyer, 50, Oliyer Rahman, 30, Ohidul Islam, 34, and Md Billal Hossain, 35.
In a press conference at the RAB Media Centre in Kawran Bazar on Wednesday, RAB 2 Commanding Officer (CO) Lt Col Md Anwar Uz Zaman said a team from the law enforcement agency conducted a raid in the Gabtoli area around 9:30pm on Tuesday, acting on a tip off.
During the raid, RAB arrested the smugglers and confiscated 96 gold bars which were hidden in their shoes. The total weight of the gold was 11.136kg, and it is estimated to be worth Tk4.5 crore.
In primary interrogation, the arrestees confessed to collecting the gold bars from Old Dhaka and smuggling them to Benapole by bus, according to the RAB 2 CO.
He added that the smugglers would make the trip to Benapole twice a week, and they were paid Tk7,000 each time.
The RAB official further said that none of the smugglers knew who the leader of the smuggling ring was, and they all worked as carriers.
“The smugglers would receive a phone call instructing them to go to a location in Old Dhaka. Once there, they would change their shoes for other pairs, which had the gold bars hidden in secret compartments. They would then leave the gold at a house in Benapole after travelling there by bus,” Lt Col Md Anwar Uz Zaman said.
He added that the gold was then smuggled into India.
Each of the recovered bars is 24-carat gold. Some of the bars also have the names of middle-eastern countries, including UAE and Dubai, inscribed on them.
Billal and Oliyer Rahman are brother-in-laws. Billal's house is located in Jhikargacha, and the others live in Benapole.
Oliyer Rahman has been involved in smuggling for two years, while the other four have been smuggling for four months, the RAB 2 CO said.
He added that efforts to arrest other members of the smuggling ring were already underway.
“We are investigating the matter, and trying to identify anyone in Old Dhaka and at the airport who may be involved,” Lt Col Md Anwar Uz Zaman said.