Ukhiya, Bangladesh: Hundreds of sacks of rice are being smuggled to Burma every day from various points through the Bangladesh-Burma border, reports our correspondent. Smugglers in the guise of rice traders are bringing rice to Teknaf from Ukhiya ostensibly for home use. Thus people in border areas do not trouble rice carriers as rice is the staple food for people in Bangladeshi.
If rice smuggling continues to Burma, it will become difficult for the border people staying in Teknaf area of Bangladesh, said local people.
According to the local people, rice smuggling to Burma is carried on under the very nose of the Bangladesh Rifles (BDR), and is done mostly at night. So far, no one has been arrested for smuggling.
Local people also said, as of the last two years rice is smuggled to Burma in the rainy season from Bangladesh because less paddy was cultivated in Burma and the price of rice increased.
At present, rice being smuggled to Burma is stocked in the warehouse on the Burma side, said Amir Hamza, a trader in the border area.
Local people further said that the smugglers had already given advance money to the Bangladeshi syndicates to purchase rice.
A bag of medium quality of rice is being bought at Taka 760 by smugglers in the border areas of Bangladesh while it is Taka.900 (Kyat-17,100) in Burma. So, the smugglers make a net profit Taka 100 (Kyat 1,900) per rice bag excluding expenditures made. (onfiltered= Kyat 19)