Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) on Tuesday urged the government to complete the ongoing work for setting up closed-circuit televisions (CCTVs) on the Dhaka-Chattogram Highway by this March to stop the theft of ready-made garments (RMG) items.
The association also requested the government to bring the perpetrators, who are involved in the theft of RMG items on this busiest highway, to book.
BGMEA President Faruque Hassan said this while addressing a view-exchange meeting with the journalists held at its office in the capital's Uttara area.
He alleged that over the last one and a half years, a vested quarter has stolen RMG items worth hundreds of crores of Taka from some 2,000 covered vans on the Dhaka-Chattogram Highway especially since some 20 to 22 incidents of theft took place last year.
In this regard, the BGMEA president mentioned that in January a foreign buyer from Brazil informed the exporter concerned in Bangladesh that they could not find around 30 to 35 per cent RMG items in the cartons under the consignment while many of the cartons were empty. He said around 8,000 RMG items out of 26,000 items were stolen from that shipment.
He said the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) has already nabbed four members of that gang who are involved in the theft while the covered van has also been seized.
Faruque alleged that the culprits filled the empty cartons with soil and jhut (garment waste) items to keep up the mentioned weight which has incurred financial losses to the buyers and sellers side by side tarnishing the image of the country.
To stop the trend, the BGMEA president also urged the government to take stern action against such wrongdoers and if necessary take tough punitive measures by amending the law.
He also stressed the need for beefing up vigil by the detective agencies alongside the regular vigil by the law enforcement agencies.
The BGMEA president also alleged that some companies are buying such stolen items and thus exporting those abroad as stocklot.
In this regard, he proposed allowing exports of stocklot subject to certification from the BGMEA or BKMEA (Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association).
Faruque also proposed preparing a database of the covered van owners’ association, transport agency owners’ association, covered van drivers and their assistants and thus sharing those with the stakeholders concerned.