Drug peddling goes on amid lockdown

Oil lorries, ambulances used to carry yaba

Ahamed Ullah

23rd May, 2021 11:15:06 PM printer

Drug peddling goes on amid lockdown

Illegal drug trade continues in the country amid the ongoing lockdown or restrictions imposed to tackle further spread of coronavirus.

Evading eyes of law enforcers, drug traders are bringing consignments of various drugs, including yaba, phensedyl and cannabis, to Dhaka from the border areas of the country using trucks, ambulances and other vehicles in the name of transporting emergency goods.

Police, Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) and the Department of Narcotics Control (DNC) are cracking down on drug trafficking with new tactics regularly.

Sources said taking advantage of some relaxation amid the coronavirus pandemic, drug trafficking continues using different ways across the country.

On April 22, RAB arrested a man for transporting heroin by using a ‘movement pass’ issued for distributing masks and hand sanitiser from Mohammadpur area in the capital.

Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Abdullah Al Mamun of RAB-2 said acting on a tip-off and further surveillance, a team of RAB-2 arrested Sawmik Ahmed Siddique, 42, at a check post in front of the Town Hall Market in Mohammadpur area of the capital.

During the drive, RAB-2 members recovered 320 grams of heroin from his possession and confiscated the private car he used for the delivery, he added.

Taking advantage of the big demand for masks and sanitiser during the pandemic, he obtained a ‘movement pass’ under the cover of delivering those products, Sawmik told RAB members during initial questioning.

ASP Abdullah Al Mamun said the arrestee admitted to purchasing drugs from different locations of Bangladesh and distributing those in the capital.

On May 9, RAB-10 seized two trucks at Dhalpur and Rayerbagh in the capital’s Jatrabari and arrested five drug peddlers with 559 bottles of phensedyl.

Operations Officer ASP Shahinur Chowdhury of RAB-10 said the arrestees were selling phensedyl under the guise of various products.

On May 8, RAB-10 seized an oil lorry from Golapbagh area of Jatrabari and arrested four people with 10,306 pieces of yaba. The yaba tablets were hidden in the oil tanker.

On May 8, Detective Branch of Police (Wari Division) arrested five people and seized an ambulance with 250 bottles of phensedyl in front of the main gate of the emergency department of Holy Family Hospital under Ramna Police Station.

Azharul Islam Mukul, Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (ADC) of DB, said, “Drug traffickers were bringing phensedyl from Jessore in an ambulance, evading eyes of the law enforcers. Even if there is a restriction on the road, the patient is released when we see an ambulance. They took this opportunity.”

According to the Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP), more than three maund of cannabis has been seized in the last one month. Traders are bringing cannabis from Cumilla and Brahmanbaria areas using different types of vehicles.

Talking to the Daily Sun, RAB’s Legal and Media wing Director Commander Khandaker Al Moin said, “Anti-narcotics drive is a mandatory part our work. After the prime minister had declared zero tolerance against drugs in 2018, we have strengthened our drive against drugs.”

“During lockdown, we have also conducted our anti-narcotics drive across the country. Our drive against drug will continue to eliminate drug smuggling from the country” he added.

According to a top official of DNC, the list of top drug dealers and investors in the drug trade is being updated. Soon, the list will be finalised and special steps will be taken again.