Hundreds of thousands of litres of hoarded edible oil are coming out of the warehouses of traders in raids across the country although the essential cooking item remained out of market for the last several days.
The Directorate of National Consumers' Right Protection and police, conducted raids in four districts on Tuesday and recovered a total of 1.53 lakh litres of oil from different warehouses and slapped fines of Tk2.50 lakh on the hoarders.
In Rajshahi, police seized 93,000 litres of edible oil -- including 24,684 litres of soyabean oil and 67,932 litres of palm oil -- from godowns of four stores at Baneshwor Bazar in Puthia upazila.
Ifte Khayer Alam, additional superintendent of Rajshahi Detective Branch of Police, said they seized 74 drum-load of oil from Sarker and Son's godown, 142 drums from Ejaaj Store, 103 drums from M/s Paul and Brothers and 75 drums from Rima store.
Moreover, they seized 60 drum-loads of edible oil from a truck in the Baneshwor area. Each drum contains 204 litres of oil. Efforts are on to arrest the businessmen who are involved in hoarding the edible oil.
The officials of the directorate, in a raid, recovered 40,000 litres of soyabean oil from a godown of M/s Food Products in Kushtia's Boro Bazar area.
Suchandon Mandol, assistant director of the directorate's Kushtia office, also slapped a Tk30,000 fine on the owner of the godown.
Besides, the officials of the directorate conducted a raid in the Board Bazar area in Gazipur and seized 2,058 litres of soyabean oil from M/s Monir General Store on Tuesday.
During the time, godown owner Monir Hossain was fined Tk2 lakh for hoarding edible oils and was directed to sell those oil immediately at a pre-set price.
Moreover, the directorate has recovered 10,000 litres of Soyabean oil (loose) and 1,244 litres of bottled oil and 7,000 litres of mustard oil from the godown of Shyamal Store in Ishwardi Bazar of Pabna district.
During the raid, Zahirul Islam, assistant director of the directorate, slapped a fine of Tk20,000 on the godown owner Shyamal Datt Paul and directed him to sell those oil to consumers at the pre-Eid rate.
The hoarding incidents across the country surfaced as the unscrupulous traders were trying to sell the stockpiled oil at the new government-set price, the officials said.
Earlier on Monday, the directorate also recovered 15,000 litres of stockpiled soybean oil in Chattogram and 29,000 litres of oil from three godowns in Dhaka's Demra area.