The National Board of Revenue (NBR) has been interrogating 34 onion importers for allegedly manipulating onion prices in the local market.
The interrogation has been started at the office of the NBR's Customs Intelligence and Investigation Directorate (CIID) in the Kakrail area of the city.
In the last day, the CIID interrogated ten onion importers over the same allegation on Monday.
"Ten importers came yesterday. Today we are interrogating another 34 businessmen. We can reach a decision after talking to them today." Said, Dr Shahidul Islam, the director-general of the CIID.
Shahidul Islam said, "We are trying to get information on who imported the onions, where they sold, and what the price was. We are trying to find out how many tonnes of onions they have in stock now."
In a bid to identify unscrupulous traders responsible for the recent onion price manipulation, the government has so far collected information on 341 businessmen who imported onions from India between August 15 and November 18, after onion prices peaked in that country.
The government has directed the Customs Intelligence department of the National Board of Revenue and the Tariff Commission to submit reports on the amount of onions imported, the import price and the selling price over the last few weeks.
The NBR has asked a number of business entities to provide further information about the sale of onions, based on the information of the NBR database. The traders will be interrogated as there is a significant discrepancy between the import price and the selling price.
The Customs Intelligence and Investigation Directorate (CIID) says that in the three months after the onion price hike in India, Bangladeshi traders imported 167,806 tonnes of onions, worth Tk660 crore, through eight land ports.
According to the invoices of the traders, in the last three months, the average price of imported onions was Tk39.33 per kg. However, the onions were sold for Tk100, and in some cases, the price exceeded Tk200 per kg.