Why Does Everyone Keep Trying to Smuggle Gold into Bangladesh?

A Kuwait Airways cabin crew member was arrested on Saturday in Dhaka, Bangladesh for smuggling gold in his body:

Eighty two grams of gold jewellery and four gold bars weighing 10 Tola each were recovered from him.

(HT: Reid F.)

That’s worth about $32,300 at 1.00 BDT to 0.0129175 USD.

Perhaps this is money that could have funded the down payment for a new business class seat onboard one of the airline’s Boeing 777s.

What’s strange is that there’s a trend of trying to smuggle gold into Bangladesh. And people keep getting caught trying to do it.

Just a month ago Bangladesh seized $1.4 million worth of gold from a North Korean diplomat.

Moinul told Reuters that the diplomat was passing through the green channel from Dhaka’s international airport – Hazrat Shahjalal International airport – on a late arriving Singapore Airlines flight from Singapore.

The customs officials at the airport wanted to scan his hand luggage.

“He told our officials that there was nothing to scan,” said Najibur Rahman, chairman of the National Board of Revenue.

“Later we informed our foreign ministry and he was released on Friday under the Vienna Convention,” Najibur told Reuters.

A case has been filed against him with the customs department, Moinul said. “We have also initiated the process to file a criminal case against him.”

Here’s the thing. Why Bangladesh that seems to attract such a broad array of smugglers?

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. a) gold is a highly sought after metal in India, so much so that the govt believes that it is a key reason for the depreciation of the currency.
    b) hence, there are higher import duties and restrictions on import of the yellow metal.
    And where there is a way, there is a will.

  2. Varun- I don’t think smugglers pay an import duty! They are smugglers.

    Bangl. and India gold prices are higher than the world spot prices. That is why you have people smuggling gold into both countries.

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