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Dhaka: Bangladesh has recently issued arrest warrants for 17 men for their alleged crimes of smuggling essential goods into neighboring Burma, reported a local newspaper on Friday.

Premiere Sheikh Hasina is said to have ordered the home ministry to arrest those men for smuggling edible oils, diesel, fertilizer, and fabric from Bangladesh to Burma.

"Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has asked the home ministry to arrest all 17 people allegedly involved in smuggling edible oils, diesel, fertilizers, and fabric from Bangladesh to neighboring countries, especially [Burma]," reported the Independent, a Dhaka-based English daily, quoting sources in the prime minister's office.

Sources in the prime minister's office sent the premier's letter to this effect to the home minister on 13 June.

The report said most of the smugglers are living in Cox's Bazar on the Burmese border and are using 30 different points on the border to smuggle out those items to Burma by boat. It is unknown if the men have been arrested yet.

According to sources on the border, smuggling contraband is the most lucrative cross-border business between Bangladesh and Burma.

Burmese businessmen are also smuggling out timber, cattle, and other illegal goods to Bangladesh through the ports in Teknaf and Shahporidip in Cox's Bazar in southeastern Bangladesh.
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