Over 50,000 litres of edible oil were seized in raids conducted by authorities in different districts on Saturday and Friday night as the drive against illegal hoarding of the essential commodity continued.
New Age Sirajganj correspondent reported that over 27,000 litres of soya bean oil were seized in separate raids at Ullapara and Shahjadpur upazila on Saturday afternoon.
In Ullapara, three shops were fined Tk 1.05 lakh for illegal hoarding.
Upazila administration raided Arban Store in the Goshgati area of Ullapara municipality and seized 14,000 litres of oil while it seized 12,000 litres of oil in another raid at Swapan Dattara warehouse, said UNO Uzzal Hossain.
Another shop was also fined for keeping expired soya bean oil bottles.
New Age Rajshahi correspondent reported that the Directorate of National Consumer Rights Protection seized about 6,500 litres of soya bean and palm oil in Natore and Rajshahi districts.
In a joint drive at Jonail Bazar under Boraigram upazila in Natore on Friday night, DNCRP and Rapid Action Battalion seized 4,000 litres of oil from Debashis Store, 400 litres from Molla Store, 1,000 litres from Rupom Store, 600 litres from Mita Store, and 100 litres from Billal Store.
RAB-5 Natore camp company commander Farhad Hossain said that they fined the five stores Tk 3.20 lakh and sold the seized oil among people at prices fixed at the time of hoarding.
Meanwhile, traders in the district on Saturday demanded an immediate and unconditional release of four traders arrested by law enforcers for allegedly stockpiling edible oils illegally at their warehouses.
During a press conference at Baneswar Bazar of Puthiya upazila in Rajshahi, Baneswar Bazar Business Association president Jubayer Mondol said that the district police arrested the traders on Tuesday under the Special Power Act and seized about 92,616 litres of soya bean and palm oils from their warehouses.
As a result, the oil supply in seven upazilas of the district and Rajshahi city had been stopped, causing immense suffering to the people, local hotels and bakeries, he said.
Jubayer said that as per the existing laws in the country, any trader could keep 30 tonnes of oil at the wholesale level and five tonnes at the retail level for 30 days.
‘None of the arrested traders hoarded oil. They bought the oil, much below the set amount, five days before the raid to supply it to various stores in the seven upazilas’, he added.
The traders demanded immediate and unconditional release of the four traders and the return of their seized oil.
DNCRP in a drive on Saturday fined two shops Tk 1, 60,000 for selling soya bean oil at high prices at Karnaphuli Market at Choumuhoni of Doublemooring area in Chattogram, reported New Age correspondent in the district.
DNCRP’s assistant director Md Didar Hossain said that they sold the 2,000 litres of soya bean oil seized to consumers instantly at previously fixed rates.
In Moulvibazar’s Kamalganj upazila, DNCRP and RAB teams seized 9,168 litres of soya bean oil during a joint raid and fined Tk 1 lakh to Salahuddin Store, said DNCRP’s assistant director Al-Amin.
A trader was fined Tk 50,000 and 1,320 litres of edible oil were seized from his store in Brahmanbaria town’s Anandabazar area during a raid of DNCRP on Saturday afternoon.
Faridpur Sadar upazila administration and DNCRP teams raided shops at Shariatullah Bazar and Shovarampur of the town in the afternoon and seized 4,800 litres of oil.
A trader was fined Tk 1 lakh and his store was sealed off for 10 days.