Cement bags smuggled to Burma from Bangladesh

Cement bags smuggled to Burma from Bangladesh
Published: 09 May 2006

The smuggling of a massive amount of cement from Bangladesh to Burma has come to light. Thousands of cement bags are being smuggled to Burma from Bangladesh everyday through the porous Bangladesh-Burma border, reports our correspondent. The smuggling of cement to Burma has raised, the prices of cement in the Bangladesh border. Over the past few days, the prices of cement have shot up by Taka 70 to 80 per sack. Most of the cement is smuggled to Burma from border areas at night, said people on the border.

SPDC authorities are using the Bangladeshi cement for construction projects, so the authorities have permitted three Bangladeshi smugglers to provide them cement from Bangladesh. These smugglers have transported thousands of cement bags to Burma, said a cement trader in Teknaf on condition of anonymity.

The said smugglers have to provide 40,000 bags of cement and 15,000 tons of iron rods for building bunkers and sentry posts, the trader added. According to a local resident the smugglers have an agreement to supply more cement bags to Burma by May and June this year.

A source in Teknaf border area said, “I have seen two shops in the border areas full of cement bags in the day time, but after the passage of the night I did not see any cement bags in the shops the next morning.” The cement bags are smuggled to Burma at night, he added. At present, a cement sack is being sold at taka 315 to 330 in Teknaf and Ukhiya in Bangladesh while it is being sold at Taka 510 in Burma.