POST TIME: 13 November, 2019 00:00 00 AM
Gold stolen from Benapole Customs House locker
Five staff suspended

Gold stolen from Benapole 
Customs House locker

Miscreants stole 19.38 kilograms of gold from the secured locker of the Benapole Customs House by breaking open the vault. Sources said valuables like dollars, gold, and money were taken away. However, the authorities have not yet confirmed the theft of anything other than gold. The RAB, DB, CID and the PBI, along with the police, have started investigating into the mystery theft. At about 10pm on Monday, Benapole Customs House Commissioner Mohammad Belal Hossain Chowdhury briefed the journalists. He acknowledged that the gold was missing.

He said a criminal gang may be exerting influence in the process of recruitment at the office and giving rise to various irregularities. Five persons, including vault in-charge Sahabul Sardar, have been suspended pending investigation. The joint commissioner of the Customs House said an investigation committee has been constituted with five members, headed by the joint commissioner of the Benapole Customs House, Shahidul Islam.

According to the sources, after office on Saturday, no one was in the office because of the official holiday of Eid Milad-un-Nabi. The burglary was detected when the office opened on Monday morning.

Customs sources said the robbers broke the lock of a room on the second floor of the old building of the Customs House. A large amount of gold, dollars, and other currency stored in the room were stolen. Before entering the room, the thieves cut off all of the CC camera connections.

The locker also contained valuable documents.

According to sources, the Customs authorities think the locker was broken on Monday morning. On learning about the incident, officials from various law enforcement agencies rushed to the spot. The police were deployed.

At 5pm, the DB, CID, PBI, RAB and Benapole Port officers entered the locker room. The joint commissioner of the Benapole Customs House, Shahidul Islam, DSB ASP Touhidul Islam, inspector Syed Mamun Hossain, RAB officer Kamruzzaman, Atikur Rahman, ARO GM Ashraf, and Benapole port police station OC MD Mamunkhan were present. They were jointly conducting the investigation.

Questions are being raised about how a theft could take place in a protected area of a Customs House. A unit of the Ansar, with its own sepoy, is present there on security duty.

The officer-in-charge of Benapole port police station, Mamun Khan, said: “The theft occurred at the Benapole Customs warehouse using duplicate keys. The CID and PBI officials, including police super Moinul Haque, are investigating the theft.”

Shahidul Islam said: “It is not possible to confirm right now the amount of money stolen. It can be done after going through the register of seizures.”