Intelligence sources told the news agency Saturday that increasing use of small firearms in different criminal activities, including murder, robbery and extortion, have increased the smuggling of firearms from across the border.
They said syndicates from two sides of the border control such smuggling of firearms. Despite strong security measures, gunrunners are bringing in the firearms amid rising demand from political cadres for creating violence in the country.
The sources informed that in capital Dhaka alone 40 syndicates are operating to deal with illegal fire arms. These syndicates keep constant contacts with the gunrunners from across the border.
The smugglers sell the small firearms and also explosives to terrorist groups in Dhaka, Chittagong and other places across the country. Gangsters prefer small firearms because these are less risky to carry than heavy weapons.
According to a key intelligence agency, India-made small arms named as 'Belgharia', 'Moyur' and 'Chhakka' are being smuggled into the country through the southwestern frontier, which is easier for transportation.
Besides, single shooter gun, revolver, pistol, sten gun and rifle also enter into the country through the northeastern frontier.
On an average, each firearm is sold between Tk 25,000 and over Tk 0.1 million. Unsuspecting low income people are often used as carriers of the smuggled firearms.
According to Bangladesh Development Partnership Centre (BDPC), a non-government institution, there are nearly 0.4 million unauthorised firearms in the country, of which about 0.2 million are being used in terrorist activities.
BDPC says political party cadres control about 50 per cent of the illegal arms while 30 per cent by smugglers and 20 per cent by outlawed outfits and robbers in the coastal areas.
The intelligence agencies have advised the government machinery to take immediate steps to put a stop to the smuggling of firearms and explosives that may be used in terrorist activities by political groups.
The agencies said such smuggled firearms may also be used by the underground outfits to create instability in the country.
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