Bangladesh alerts forces to stop rawhide smuggling

Dhaka, Aug 30 (IANS) Law enforcement agencies, especially paramilitary Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB), have been instructed to be on high alert to check smuggling of rawhide of sacrificial animals to India across the international border.

In a high-level meeting on Sunday in capital Dhaka before Eid-ul-Azha (festival of animal sacrifice), all the relevant law enforcement agencies were given the instruction, Xinhua news agency reported.

Officials say the instruction has been given against the backdrop of hide smuggling to India every year after Eid-ul-Azha when more than 42 percent hides are collected in Bangladesh.

Bangladesh tanners are hoping to procure six million pieces of rawhide after this year’s Eid-ul-Azha which falls on or before September 25.

“We have instructed law enforcers including BGB to remain on highest alert along the frontiers so that not a single hide is smuggled out from the country this year,” Bangladesh Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal said.

Bangladesh tanners often allege some outsider businessmen procure rawhide through their local agents at an exorbitant rate to smuggle out the same to India instead of selling these in local markets.

“We are pledge-bound to prevent hide smuggling during this Eid occasion,” Kamal said.

He also said Bangladesh government will fix the price of rawhide so that outsider can not procure rawhide through their local agents at an exorbitant rate preventing the local traders to purchase hide.

Bangladesh exports finished leather to over 30 countries including China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, South Korea, the Netherlands and Vietnam.

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