Vol. 5 Num 664 Mon. April 10, 2006  
Front Page

Heroin Smuggling to Uk
BD Foods Ltd wiggles to shake off stigma

The management of the company accused of smuggling heroin to the United Kingdom claimed their innocence yesterday at a news briefing.

The UK Customs and local customs intelligence reports found BD Foods Limited and five of its sister concerns involved in smuggling 147kg heroin to the UK.

The managing director of BD Foods, Badrul Haider Chowdhury, said his company sacked one of the accused employees Nazmul Haider Bhuiyan (Bulbul) and show-caused another accused employee Md Mainuddin.

But investigation reports revealed that the two accused continue to have communications between them.

Mainuddin is the manager of King & Company, a sister concern of BD Foods Limited.

The National Board of Revenue in its primary investigation report found Nazmul and Mainuddin to be involved in the smuggling racket.

The NBR investigation report found that BD Foods Limited and its sister concerns manipulated the entire export process, starting from getting a trade license to shipment of consignments to the UK ports.

Messrs Emdad Traders, Messrs Jamil International, Messrs MM Enterprise and Green Heaven Enterprise smuggled drugs to Ocean Line Foods, Messrs Bengal Bay and Coastal Spices in the UK in the guise of legitimate export consignments.

According to the investigation report the suspect companies are sister concerns of BD Foods Ltd. In the report three persons -- Shamsul Arefin, Nazmul Haider Bhuiyan, and Mainuddin -- are accused of smuggling heroin. Shamsul Arefin is the owner of Emdad Traders. The other two are employees of King and Company.

These exporting companies' existence remain only on papers and their trade licenses, tax identification numbers and business identification numbers are false.

The UK customs and excise department in a letter sent through the British deputy high commissioner in Mumbai on May 20, 2005 asked the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Department of Bangladesh to probe the drug trafficking ring.

The company management however denied the allegations at the news briefing yesterday at a hotel in the capital saying that the entire matter is still mysterious to them despite the company's own investigation.

"We have conducted a detail investigation after knowing that the value added tax (VAT) number of King & Company was used in smuggling heroin. The whole issue is still mysterious to us," Badrul Haider said.

He said a 'vicious circle' is behind the smuggling but he failed to provide any detail of the 'circle'.

"You the media and investigators should find out the circle for the betterment of the country," Badrul Haider said.

He said a large quantity of exportable goods of his company are facing hurdles at different overseas ports due to the publication of the probe report.

The company management said they raised the company's paid-up capital to Tk 4.5 crore from only Tk 1 lakh within two and a half years through borrowing from Islami Bank and Exim-Bank.

Badrul Haider said the company exported goods worth Tk 60 crore in the year 2005 but refused to reveal the amount of the company's investment.

Despite the fact that his father Bodruddoza Momen is the chairman of the company, Badrul Haider claimed that his father retired from business.

The management of the suspected drug smuggling company left the venue immediately after the news briefing and declined to provide journalists with business cards or cell phone numbers.

MA Shahrier, deputy managing director, Tanbir Ahmed Alamin legal adviser and Bishnu Battacharya general manager of the company also spoke at the briefing.

Meanwhile Bangladesh Frozen Foods Exporters Association yesterday expressed grave concerns over the news of smuggling of heroin and demanded exemplary punishments for those who are responsible.