Mobile court exposes continued cultivation

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A mobile court on Friday seized 2,440 kilograms of fishes from the capital Dhaka’s leading wholesale kitchen market Karwan Bazar after finding some of them tainted with textile colours while the others were cultivated illegally ignoring a ban to protect environment.

Led by executive magistrate Sarwoer Alam, the mobile court also jailed five fish trader for different terms.

‘The jailed traders informed that Piranha is cultivated in Bhaluka of Mymensingh while African Catfish in Narayanganj,’ said Sarwoer Alam.

He said that Piranha is sold as Chanda while African Catfish is mainly bought by restaurants where they sell the fish as regular catfish.

The seized fishes included 2,000 kilograms of African Catfish, 180 kilograms of Piranha and 260 kilograms of Poa tainted with textile colour.

Poa fishes were tainted red with textile colours to look fresh, the jailed businessmen confessed to the mobile court. 

Food safety campaigners say textile colour is carcinogenic if consumed.

The cultivation and sale of Piranha and African Catfish is banned in Bangladesh, the fisheries department confirmed.

‘These fishes are a great threat to aquatic lives for they prey on everything that has flesh and can move,’ said fisheries department’s aquaculture deputy director Azizul Haque.

‘The cultivation and sale of the fishes were banned to protect the environment,’ he said. He said that the mobile court indicated that some fishermen continued cultivating Piranha and African Catfish secretly.

The mobile court also fined Tk 6 lakh to a grocery shop, Hazi Mizan Enterprise, at Karwan Bazar after finding that it was selling textile colours to be used in food.

The grocery was also found selling imported foods such as vinegar, cheese and noodles long after their expiry by tampering with the date of expiration on the label.

The grocery sells a kilogram of textile colour at Tk 700 to Tk 800.

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