The Department of Narcotics Control (DNC) has prepared a list of about 3,500 drug traders active in Dhaka in a bid to crack down hard on them.
DNC’s Dhaka division chief and Additional Director Fazlur Rahman came up with the information during a briefing at the DNC’s Dhaka Metro North office on Friday on the busting of a crystal meth or ‘ice’ racket.
Asked why the drug dealers are not being arrested, the DNC official said, “We’re trying to arrest them as soon as possible. It’s not possible to arrest everyone for lack of evidence as they don’t deal in drugs directly; rather they control the racket with money.”
According to him, Yaba traders are bringing crystal methamphetamine (ice) in Bangladesh from Myanmar. Besides, most of the ice dealers are highly educated and they come from affluent families. Recently, five drug traffickers were arrested from Gulshan, Vatara, Kuril and Ramna areas of the capital with 560 grams of ice and 1,200 Yaba tablets.
DNC has claimed that it is the largest haul of ice in Dhaka so far. Two private cars were also seized during the drive.
The arrestees are Zakaria Ahmed Aman, 32, Tareque Ahmed, 55, Saddam Hossain, 31, Shahidul Islam Khan, 48, and Jasim Uddin, 50.
According to senior DNC official Fazlur Rahman, two of them were produced before the court on Thursday while the rest on Friday.
The DNC additional director also said, “Ice was first seized in 2007. Although it didn’t exist for a long time, the trading of ice has been increasing since 2019. We arrested one person in August last. Based on information gleaned from him, we conducted the operation on September 21 and 22.”
“In that operation, we had been able to arrest a syndicate of 10 people,” he said, adding that based on the information provided by them, DNC arrested these five ‘drug dealers’ on Wednesday using technology.
Over the last two decades, Yaba, a methamphetamine-based drug, replaced Phensedyl, a combination medicine used for the treatment of dry cough. Before that the government banned consumption of opium and weed in the eighties.
Many fear that with the increasing number of arrests being made over crystal meth possession, the drug may soon replace Yaba as the next major drug.