India and Bangladesh to work together to reduce silver smuggling
Bangladeshi authorities are working with Indian authorities to stop silver smugglers bringing the precious metal from India to Bangladesh without paying any duties, which is affecting the countries’ economies.
Over 2,000 kilograms of silver goods are smuggled from India into Bangladesh each year, an official in Bangladesh told Indo-Asian News Service. India’s is Bangladesh’s main international silver jewellery and ornament supplier ahead of countries including China and Vietnam.
“In Bangladesh, we also have a 5% VAT on jewellery,” another official source in Bangladesh told Indo-Asian News Service. “Unscrupulous jewellers dealing in smuggled ornaments make customers pay this but do not reveal it in their records as the items they are dealing with are unaccounted for. Hence, they are making a killing both ways. Discussions have been held with India on joint operations to stop this smuggling.”
As Indian businesses should be paying export duties on silver, smuggling is also affecting the Indian economy. The North 24-Parganas district of West Bengal has been identified as a key smuggling border region but the South Bengal Frontier of the Border Security Force lacks adequate resources to effectively police the area. Over its past five operations in the area, the BSF seized over 28 kilograms of silver goods. As numerous Indian districts share borders with Bangladesh, there are expected to be more, as yet undiscovered, smuggling hubs.
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