Although police have launched investigation to unearth the mystery behind the disappearance of 55 kg gold bars from the customs' locker inside the Dhaka airport, it will be very difficult to identify the real perpetrators as there was no CCTV cameras inside or around the area.
Sources at the airport said, though the entire areas of inside Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport (HSIA) are under CCTV coverage, mysteriously no such camera was installed inside the warehouse. Even, one CCTV camera was found outside the warehouse, but that was found inactive. Due to which it has become difficult to ascertain who were directly involved in the gold stealing.
A senior officer of a leading intelligence agency told UNB that entire areas inside the airport have been kept under round-the-clock CCTV camera coverage. Besides, the entire area is also under strict surveillance by the members of several government agencies including the Civil Aviation Authority, law enforcement agencies, various intelligence agencies. The theft of gold from the warehouse amid such security and the fact that the customs house does not have control over the CCTV cameras in the warehouse has raised questions.
Sources at the Dhaka Customs House said the incident of gold stealing came to the attention of the Dhaka Customs Department last Saturday. However, the matter came to light widely the following day on Sunday.
After properly inventory, the Dhaka Customs House was confirmed that around 55 kg of gold was stolen from its own airport's godown.
According to a source of Dhaka Customs House, there was approximately more than 200 kg of gold in the warehouse.
The Dhaka Customs House has formed a five-member committee headed by its Joint Commissioner (customs) Minhaj Uddin to investigate the entire incident.
Besides, Mohammad Sohrab Hossain, assistant revenue officer of Dhaka Customs House, filed a case with the airport police station accusing unidentified people on Sunday night.
According to the First Information Report (FIR), it was mentioned that someone or somebody took away the 55 kgs gold some times between 12:15 pm on Saturday night and 8:30 am the next day on Sunday breaking the locker of almirah inside the warehouse. According to the customs department, the value of this stolen gold is around Tk 45 crore.
According to the information mentioned in the FIR of the case, the senior officials of the customs department gave verbal instructions to the officer in charge of the warehouse to ascertain whether any valuables were stolen from the warehouse or not. Later in the day on Sunday, the officers in charge of the warehouse found that 55 kg and 51 grams of gold seized between 2020 and 2023 was stolen as per the Detention Receipt (DM).
Contacted, Deputy Commissioner (DC-Uttara Division)of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) Morshed Alam told UNB that the police have already started investigation into the case.
He also said that four sepoys of the Dhaka customs House, who were deployed to provide security of airport customs' warehouse by rotation, are now being interrogated in connection of the incident
Replying to a question, the DC also said that the missing gold was detained by the airport customs under 437 detention memoes (DM) at various times between 2020 and 2023.
According to the rules, the gold was supposed to be deposited to Bangladesh Bank's vault but question has been raised why the rules were not followed, the DC added.
He further said, they visited the gold warehouse and found that such an important place was not covered by CCTV. So it is difficult to identify instantly who stole the gold. It would have been easier to find out who took away the gold if there were active CCTV cameras for monitoring the warehouse.
Commissioner of Dhaka Customs House Nurul Huda Azad on Sunday told media that a committee has already formed to investigate the matter.