Illegal trade thrives along border, BSF looks on

By : 17-Jan-2017

Villages along the international border in West Bengal and Tripura of India have been a witness for many illegal trading activities. Witnesses say that the officers from Border Security Force (BSF) and Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) are allegedly being a part of these illegal trading activities such as smuggling and trafficking activities.

With regard to the trafficking activities, one of the villager who is a witness of these activities has said that cross border exchange rates for the people crossing over the border are set by the officers on both sides. He also said that, after the officers collected the rates determined from the people crossing over the border, we take from those people whatever is remaining in their pockets for our purposes.

He said to the media that, “Today, the rate was settled at Rs 1,000 per person by the BGB. But the BSF demanded Rs 500 more per head. Finally, they agreed at Rs 300. I have collected whatever extra these people had but still lost some money.”

Until demonetisation, it is estimated that every day about 50 Bangladeshi citizens cross over the border to enter into India. According to the estimates, until now, about 1.7 lakh Bangladeshi citizens are residing in West Bengal alone, which is just an ice berg of the total number of people living in the other states of the country.

According to a trader from Noida, “Not a single item can cross the border without the BSF's permission, be it gold, silver, drugs, guns, fake currency or illegal migrants. Even we receive food that is diverted from BSF supplies on a regular basis. Some of this goes across the border. There are few fuel pumps along the border but it doesn't bother people much. They regularly buy petrol and diesel from the BSF. It is a racket.”

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