As many as 23 Bangladeshi smugglers were arrested by BSF from Samarganja in South Tripura district on Tuesday, an official said. The BSF troops also seized over 6,000 kg of sugar and 17 mobile phones from them, he said. “Acting on specific information regarding trans-border smuggling of sugar, troops waited at Samarganj on Tuesday and apprehended 23 Bangladeshi smugglers,” the BSF official said.

It appears that around 30 Bangladeshi smugglers, divided into small groups, crossed the international border to receive a consignment of sugar from their counterparts on the Indian side.

“A total of 6,250 kg of sugar, packed in 125 bags, were recovered from them, and 17 mobile phones seized. Of the 23 arrested, 22 are residents of Feni district, while one is from Chittagong in Bangladesh,” he said.

An FIR was registered, and then the apprehended Bangladeshi smugglers were handed over to the police for further action, he said.

There has been a spurt in the trans-border smuggling of sugar through the Indo–Bangladesh border in Tripura in recent years, the official said.

Sixteen smugglers were apprehended, while a total of 5.49 lakh kg of sugar was seized in 2023 at the Indo–Bangladesh border in Tripura, he added.