We are uneasy to see the front page lead news of the daily sun about dope gangs being on the prowl prior to Eid. At the same time it is slightly reassuring to know that 65 members of the gangs were arrested by the police.
Come Ramadan the sufferings of commuters in big cities increase manifold due to innumerable problems like traffic jam, heat, long day of fasting, etc. One additional worry for them is losing all belongings to the dope gangs who mix sedatives with food items like biscuits, water, coconut water, etc. to make unwary people senseless. Many victims of such gangs are being treated at the Dhaka Medical College Hospital every day. Most victims lose all their belongings including their sense after consuming the doped food item.The activities of such dope gangs have been going on for many years. Although these gangs operate throughout the year but they become more active before festivities like Eid or Puja as people tend to carry extra cash for shopping and other purposes at these times. They usually target simple folks coming from out of town to intercity bus stands, railway stations and launch terminals.
Most city goers are aware of these hoodlums and take care not to consume anything offered by strangers. But it is easier for the criminals to dupe tired travellers from out of town into consuming the sedative mixed food. Then they rob valuables when the victim loses sense. These gangs look for victims at shopping malls, bus stands, launch terminals and railway stations ahead of Eid. They cunningly develop relationship with targeted persons and entertain them with the adulterated food and juice before snatching their cash and valuables.
In some cases, they collect ransom from families and relatives of the victims.
Once the victims are unconscious by taking sedative-mixed food they take their mobile sets and call the victims’ family members to ask for ransom telling that their dear and near ones are held hostages. After getting money through mobile financial service, they switch off the mobile sets. To remain safe it is advisable not to befriend strangers or consume anything offered by unknown persons, however friendly.