RAB seeks seized drones for surveillance activities

Dhaka,  Thu,  27 October 2016
Published : 13 Oct 2016, 23:56:44

RAB seeks seized drones for surveillance activities

Doulot Akter Mala

The Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) made a request to the National Board of Revenue (NBR) that some of the drones seized by the customs authorities be given to the elite force to facilitate augmenting its surveillance activities.

The request came after the customs authorities seized a number of illegally imported drones in different ports recently.

RAB Director General Benazir Ahmed recently sent a letter requesting NBR chairman Md Nojibur Rahman to take necessary steps to hand over at least 10 drones to RAB to beef up security measures at different national programmes.

He, however, said RAB will return the drones anytime following any court directive as there are cases filed over illegal import of the items.

As per statistics available, the customs seized nearly 70 drones at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in the capital in the last one year.

A senior customs official said the Import Policy Order (2015-18) does not provide for import of drone.

Currently, customs authorities seize all of the imported drones in ports following a temporary order of the NBR.

In the letter, Benazir said currently RAB does not have any such equipment for security surveillance from the sky.

Drone is a remote-controlled unmanned aerial system (UAS).

Earlier, Dhaka custom house proposed the NBR to draw up guideline on import of drones as national security is related with the system.

Any subversive incident can be caused by connecting bombs to a drone. It can be misused in collecting photos and information on important establishments.

Importers have to give declaration at the customs point before importing drone.

A customs commissioner said there is nothing mentioned about import of drone in the import policy.

"Customs seize the item in ports and ask the importers to obtain permission from the chief controller of import and export to release the item," he said.

Tax incidence is around 60 per cent on import of drone as per the customs law.

From April 1, neighboring country India has placed drone on prohibited and dutiable goods list.

 The Indian government has decided to revise the Indian Customs Declaration Form to include drones in the list of prohibited and dutiable goods making it compulsory for travellers entering India to declare and pay duty for import of the item.

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