BSF seizes fake driving licences from truckers at Bangladesh front
The Border Security Force (BSF) has seized 82 fake driving licenses from truck drivers this week at the India-Bangladesh border check post at Petrapole in West Bengal stating these illegal acts could ''compromise'' national security.
The south Bengal frontier of the force and its officials headquartered in Kolkata said in a statement on Monday that while they do not want to create any ''disruption'' in cross-border trade between the two neighbors, rules in this regard will have to be followed.
The border guarding force said its troops launched an intensive search on January 16 and 17 at the Petrapole integrated check post (ICP) in the North 24 Parganas district of West Bengal after it got ''inputs that few drivers (of heavy vehicles like trucks) are involved in carrying out trans-border crimes such as smuggling of gold, silver, phensedyl syrup (a cough syrup abused as narcotics drug in Bangladesh), drugs, etc. while engaged in export and import of goods between India and Bangladesh.'' The Bangladeshi side opposite this border post is called Benapole and every day hundreds of trucks with goods cross over to either side.
The BSF seized a total of 82 ''fake'' licenses from the truck drivers after a ''surprise checking of the authenticity of the driving licenses of the drivers who are engaged in the export-import by road through ICP-Petrapole.'' ''Accordingly, BSF handed over the 82 fake driving licenses to the Customs authorities. The concerned authorities of Customs and Land Port Authority of India were conveyed that BSF cannot allow those trucks to go to Bangladesh whose drivers are found in the possession of a fake driving license.
''The BSF stated that no driver with a fake driving license can be allowed to ply the trucks to Bangladesh at any cost because such drivers obtain fake car passes from the Customs department based on driving license upon which BSF allows the trucks to go inside Bangladesh,'' the statement said.
To ensure ''smooth running of the trade between India and Bangladesh, the BSF has informed Bangaon Transport Association to follow the standing operating procedure so that security and interests of the nations are not compromised,'' it said.
The force said it has sometimes, intercepted illegal gold, fake Indian currency notes (FICN), and narcotics while checking these incoming trucks carrying import cargo from Bangladesh.
''Besides, on regular basis, numerous seizures of illegal items including narcotics are made by troops of the BSF deployed at ICP Petrapole. ''In all these illegal activities, the role of Indian transporters, laborers, drivers, helpers, and different agents, sub-agents, etc have been established,'' the force said.
It said there have also been instances of road accidents done by truck drivers possessing fake licenses and in an incident in October last year, a BSF jawan was killed.
The BSF statement came after some local trade-bodied had called for a strike alleging BSF's high-handedness in clearing trucks and truck drivers at Petrapole.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had recently said in a public event that Bangladesh was India's largest trade partner in South Asia and the fourth largest export destination globally. India is Bangladesh's second-largest trade partner. Despite Covid related impediments, bilateral trade has now touched USD 10 billion (one billion is equal to Rs 100 crore), he had said while speaking at a 'Vijay Diwas' commemoration event held by the BSF on December 16. ''Building on its historical role, the BSF continues to play a crucial role in India's robust engagement with Bangladesh. Maintaining a peaceful border, preventing trans-border crimes and other illegal activities are important for stability and prosperity in bordering areas and beyond,'' he had said.
''BSF is a key partner in the 'whole of government' approach to upgrade border infrastructure for security, trade, and movement of people,'' Jaishankar had said.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)