No import papers, no documents purchased from tourism corporation. “Lake View Restaurant & Bar” in Uttara of the capital could not provide the information collected from any other source. The last time they bought foreign liquor was 14 months ago. Didn’t buy after that. The question is – where did they get the foreign liquor for so long?
According to National Board of Revenue statistics, import of liquor has decreased after Corona. Where did so much foreign wine come from, how did it come? Intelligence agencies have claimed that some gangs import illegal liquor by declaring it as a legitimate product. Also luggage parties and foreign liquor coming across the border. The government is losing billions of rupees in revenue. It is also believed that because of the maximum VAT of 600 percent on import of foreign liquor, more liquor is being imported illegally.
Dhaka Metropolitan Detective Police (DB) raided Lake View Restaurant & Bar on Garib Newaz Avenue in Sector 13 of Uttara on October 7 from 9 pm to dawn. However, during the raid, the police named the bar as ‘Kingfisher’, although the documents show that it is a restaurant and bar. Which is called ‘Lakeview Restaurant and Bar’. In 2018, the establishment received a license to operate a bar from the Department of Narcotics Control. Approval has been taken for the fifth and sixth floors of the building. The owner’s name is Muktar Hossain. The same owner has three more bars in Dhaka Gulshan and Mirpur.
After the raid, the Deputy Inspector (SI) of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DB) said. Nasir Uddin filed a case under Narcotics Control Act at Uttara West Police Station as the plaintiff. 36 people including bar owner Muktar Hossain and general manager Anwar Hossain were accused in the case. Those who are the staff of that bar.
In the operation, DB seized 453 bottles of foreign liquor and 6,500 cans of beer from that bar. Bar authorities could not show any documents of these liquors. The Department of Narcotics Control is responsible for the maintenance of the bar. They are supposed to inspect the bar every month and give a report.
Dhaka Metropolitan Detective Police (DB) Additional Commissioner Harun Or Rashid told Bangla Tribune that Lake View Restaurant and Bar are on the fifth and sixth floors of the building. But we recovered the liquor from the seventh floor. Most of the liquor is recovered from there. We wait there from 9pm to 3am. But the bar authorities could not show valid documents for import or purchase of liquor. Where did they get this wine? By collecting these illegally stored liquor, they evaded crores of revenue.
How does foreign wine come about?
To import any foreign liquor, permission is required from the Narcotics Control Department. Brand registration is required. After that, if the Narcotics Control Department permits, they can import alcohol. Another thing is – Bars approved by Bangladesh Tourism Corporation buy and sell alcohol. In that case also they should have purchase documents.
450 percent tax is charged on import of beer and liquor into Bangladesh. The duty rate on imported drinks like whiskey or vodka is more than 600 percent.
Buying, carrying or storing liquor without a license is a punishable offence. National Board of Revenue (NBR) statistics show that imports of alcohol-related products are decreasing day by day. However, the Narcotics Control Department says the demand for liquor has increased. That demand is being met through various illegal means.
According to DB Police, foreign liquor comes through luggage parties and border smuggling. They smuggle these liquors into the country. Bars then sell it.
DB official Haroon Or Rasheed said, Lake View Restaurant and Bar has shown documents of purchase of liquor abroad 14 months ago. They didn’t answer how and where they collected alcohol for these 14 months. We are looking for the answer. Checked with tourism corporation, they didn’t buy from there either. So where did you get it?
Foreign liquor also comes under the guise of other products
Foreign liquor is imported into the country under the guise of other products. This gang sometimes imports liquor in the name of importing parts, sometimes garment products and sometimes toys.
On July 23, RAB-11 seized foreign brands of liquor worth around Tk 37 crore by evading duty in a novel manner under the guise of garment products. Abdul Ahad is one of the owners of the syndicate.
On that day, RAB-11 of Narayanganj’s Sonargaon Police Station set up a check post in front of Tipardi Salauddin’s parking stand on the Chittagong-Dhaka highway and started searching various suspicious cargo trucks and trailers with containers. At one stage of the search, 36 thousand 816 bottles of foreign liquor of different brands were recovered from two suspicious container tailors. Its market value is 31 crore 58 lakh 80 thousand taka. The price including VAT is 36 crore 88 lakh 80 thousand taka.
A large amount of local and foreign currency cash was raided at the residence of a person involved in the importation of this illegal shipment in Wari, Dhaka. Meanwhile, Md. Nazmul Mollah, Md. Saiful Islam alias Saiful was arrested. Later, on the information given by them, Abdul Ahad, one of the leaders of this gang, was arrested from the airport area.
Ahad and his brother Mizanur Rahman Ashiq have been involved in this illegal business for a year. They carry out illegal liquor import operations with the connivance of C&F. The gang built illegal liquor marketing networks in the country under the guise of TV and car parts businesses. After bringing illegal drugs from abroad, they are kept in warehouses in Munshiganj’s Srinagar, capital’s Bangshal and Wari. Later, these illegal liquors were supplied to bars at convenient times.
Bars are kept under surveillance
Although foreign liquor is sold in Dedars in the bars, import and government revenue are not collected accordingly. Therefore, the surveillance of the intelligence agencies has increased in the bars. Itom through the Ministry of Home Affairs