This is one of the biggest seizure in the recent past, involving the smuggling of export goods to Bangladesh

Agartala: Acting on a tip-off the custom officers in West Bengal intercepted a fishing trawler while trying to smuggle garments worth over Rs 3.3 crore from Diamond Harbour towards Sagar Island recently.

As per intelligence reports, the trawler was to cross over to Bangladesh using an unauthorised riverine route and channel, carrying goods of Indian origin in the guise of fishing, the ministry of finance said in a press statement.

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The officers of the customs with support from the coast guard had kept a vigil from various strategic points and the trawler was identified from a distance on the said route but the trawler changed the route and attempted to escape after noticing the official vessels.

The trawler was intercepted near Geonkhali, however, the persons on board abandoned the trawler and jumped into the waters and attempted to flee but six of them were arrested with the help from Indian Coast Guard and the local police.

Upon searching the trawler, various incriminating documents along with identity cards of certain Bangladeshi and Indian nationals were found.

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Mobile phones with Bangladeshi SIM cards and personal effects, all made in Bangladesh, were recovered.

The trawler also had flags of Bangladesh and it appears that the same would have been displayed after they had illegally crossed the international border.

“The persons on board the trawler were engaging in smuggling of Sarees/Garments concealed inside the trawler in about 400 gunny bags having a value of Rs. 3.3 crore approximately”, the press statement reads.

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Interrogation of the arrested persons confirmed that the vessel was heading to cross over to Bangladesh through an unauthorised route with an intention to smuggle Indian goods to Bangladesh. Further investigation in the matter is under process,” it added.

This is one of the biggest seizure in the recent past, involving the smuggling of export goods to Bangladesh, it added.

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