The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Wednesday conducted multiple raids in various parts of West Bengal to probe cattle smuggling nexus operating along the India-Bangladesh border. A Border Security Force (BSF) commandant is one of the accused in the probe.

Raids were conducted in various parts of the state, including Kolkata and its surrounding districts, Siliguri and Murshidabad. Raids in other parts of the country are also part of the same probe, including Delhi, Ghaziabad, Amritsar and Raipur. Raids have been conducted in 15 places across the country.  Investigation has also revealed the involvement of some customs officials in the smuggling nexus, said officials.

The Salt Lake residence of Satish Kumar, the BSF commandant, was searched and sealed by one of the CBI teams. Kumar was posted in Malda till April 2017 for about a year, and was in charge of a battalion that had units in both Malda and Murshidabad districts. It is alleged that during his tenure, more than 20,000 cows had been seized by the BSF before they could be smuggled to Bangladesh, but there were no major arrests, nor were vehicles seized.

It is alleged that the cattle was auctioned within 24 hours of being seized and only three accused traders were allowed to buy them at very low prices. After showing that the cattle was then restricted to the local market, the same was allegedly smuggled to Bangladesh. The three accused traders are Mohammed Emanul, Mohammed Anarul and Golam Mostafa.

The probe and the raids are continuing.

[Image representational]

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