The import and export activities via Benapole port remained suspended as C&F agency staff declared a work abstention to protest against a punitive action taken against one of their co-workers.
They stopped unloading goods from the cargo section at 1pm Thursday after the port authority seized the customs card from a staff named Akturazzaman Akter for his alleged involvement in drug smuggling.
Dr Niamul Islam, additional commissioner of Benapole Customs House said they conducted a drive at the Indian truck terminal of the port on Wednesday night, upon receiving information that a truck carrying illegal goods (along with legal ones) had entered the port.
They recovered 200 bottles of Phensidyl from a truck carrying cotton; they also seized Indian drugs from another truck bringing in coal. They later seized the customs card from Aktaruzzaman, who was on duty in the latter truck.
Meanwhile, Akturazzaman said he returned home after taking the manufacturing number and invoice of the truck that entered the port from India's Petropol carrying coal. Later the customs officials called him and seized his custom card.
Sazedur Rahman, general secretary of C&F Staff Association said, "It is unacceptable that our C&F staff be held responsible for an offense committed by an Indian truck driver. However, a discussion between the two sides is underway, and the unloading activities will remain suspended until the issue is resolved.
Revenue officer of Checkpost Customs Cargo section Shahidul Islam said hundreds of trucks were stuck on both sides of the port, and the goods being transported include raw materials for industries and food products.
Businessmen will incur losses if arrangements are not made to unload the goods immediately, he added.