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Authorities clamp down on poultry smuggling

- SHIVA PURI, RAUTAHAT

Jan 23, 2019-

Local authorities are clamping down on poultry smuggling from India which has grown in recent years. On Tuesday morning, Armed Police Force personnel intercepted an Indian-registered motorcycle at Paroha Municipality-5 and seized around 200 kg of live chickens, but the rider got away.

“We destroyed the contraband chickens in the presence of locals, quarantine and Gaur Customs officials and journalists,” said SP Krishna Dhakal of the Armed Police Force. “As the border has been tightened, smugglers are using varied border points to import chickens illegally,” he said. However, local entrepreneurs said that smuggling had not stopped despite the campaign.

Chickens are being smuggled on motorbikes and bicycles, and the shipments usually arrive in the morning and evening. Local entrepreneurs said that Indian chicken costs half of the Nepali product. “Indian chicken costs Rs100 per kg wholesale,” said Ram Binod Pandey, president of the Rautahat Livestock Entrepreneurs Association. “Due to the price difference, chicken smuggling is growing at an alarming rate.” 

Smuggling has affected local producers, he said. According to the association, live chickens cost Rs250 per kg in the wholesale market. The retail price is Rs300 per kg. Rampurkhap, Ishanath and Bankul are the key border points where smuggling has grown. Several days ago, the border police of Banjara confiscated 25 kg of chickens from a bicycle. Smuggled live chickens are the main reason behind the high incidence of bird flu and disease, observers said.

Textile smugglers using trucks carrying cement

Bhushan Yadav (Birgunj)

Makwanpur Police seized a Kathmandu-bound truck with registration number Na 7 Kha 9848 carrying a large quantity of smuggled textiles on December 24. The incidence brought to light textile smuggling by using trucks that normally carry cement in the Parsa-Bara Industrial Corridor.

The truck was carrying 25 bales of textiles and four bales of chapra cloth used for polishing furniture. The contraband was hidden between sacks of cement.

Police Inspector Arun Kushwaha said they sent the truck to Birgunj Customs Office for further action. According to him, the truck was carrying a consignment of Jagadamba Ultra Cement. Manish Mahato, spokesperson for the customs office, said, “The truck driver Saroj Neupane was released on bail of Rs891,000,” Mahato said.

Textile smugglers have been using trucks used to transport cement and bricks manufactured in rural areas of Parsa district, said a trader who asked not to be named.

“Around 300 bales of contraband textiles are being dispatched to Kathmandu daily,” the source said.

The smugglers use gateways such as Janaki Tol, Bhiswa, Pidari, Amarpatti and Banjari. Superintendent of Police at the Parsa Police Circle Rewati Dhakal said authorities had started keeping a close eye on suspected brick and cement factories.

The government levies 20 percent customs duty and 13 percent VAT on readymade garments. The customs duty on imported raw materials is 15 percent. In addition, traders have to pay a local development fee on imported textiles. Smuggled textiles fulfill almost half of the requirement in the domestic market, claimed traders. “Smuggling has increased due to the high import duty,” they said.

According to the Nepal Textile Industries Association, contraband textiles worth Rs80 billion enter the country annually. The country’s textile requirement amounts to 1 billion metres, and domestic production totals 70 million metres, according to the association.

Published: 23-01-2019 09:01

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