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Pernicious nexus of drugs

AL men, law enforcers found involved in drug trade: Crackdown not possible as top notch involved, Police say

Published : Sunday, 22 January, 2017 at 12:00 AM Count : 631

The ruling party men and members of the law enforcing agencies are found to be directly involved in drug trafficking in the capital Dhaka and across the country.  A high ranking intelligence source told the Daily Observer that transportation of drugs from across the border with India and Myanmar is directly patronised by the political elite, government officials and law enforcement agency personnel.
Drug dons allegedly spend crores of taka to buy the silence and protection of law enforcement officials and ruling party men.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, directed the IGP AKM Shahidul Hoque and intelligence officials at the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport before leaving for Switzerland to crackdown on drug dealers with no mercy or leniency to anyone.
"Show no mercy even if the offender is from the ruling party (Awami League)," she said. She ordered war on drugs as various harmful stuffs especially Yaba pill is flooding the country and ruining the young generation. The Prime Minister declared a 'zero tolerance' policy against trade and use of illegal drugs.
Meanwhile, police are yet to crackdown on drug trafficking syndicates. Even the ruling party lawmaker Tipu Munshi has claimed in a programme that there are several parliament members who are involved in drug trade.
Police sources said stern action is not possible as a vital portion of the ruling party men and the law enforcers have become involved in drug business.
The use of marijuana, phensidyl, yaba, alcohol and heroine are alarmingly increasing among the younger section of the society. A latest survey revealed that 60 per cent of the total addicts belong to the youth and juvenile age groups. On June 20 last year, a luxury vehicle was seized from Lalpol area of Feni district on the Dhaka-Chittagong Highway with 680,000 pieces of Yaba pills. An Assistant Sub-Inspector of Dhaka Special Branch, Mahfuzur Rahman, was held. This incident proved the involvement of the law enforcers as drug carriers.
To protect high-value and high-risk drug consignments, official emblems, official vehicles and even officials themselves are pressed into service of the drug trafficking syndicates.
An investigation by several intelligence agencies has found that drug smuggling in Bangladesh is run by over 1,200 godfathers of whom at least 87 are leaders of the Awami League, Jubo League, Chhatra League and Sramik League who provide back up to drug traffickers in the Dhaka, Chittagong, Khulna and Rajshahi divisions.
The Department of Narcotics Control uses this list to conduct anti-narcotics operations and as a basis for further investigation. Leaders of the Awami League and its associate bodies allegedly pocket crores of taka by using their political influence to back drug traffickers.
The intelligence list names Cox's Bazar Awami League MP Abdur Rahman Bodi, his brothers Abdul Shukkur and Mujibur Rahman, step-brothers Abdul Amin and Faisal Rahman, in-laws Akhter Kamal, Shahed Kamal, uncle Haider Ali, cousin Kamrul Islam Russel and nephew Nipu for their involvement in drug trafficking. No action has been taken against them. Law enforcers reportedly later dropped Bodi's name from the list.
It is not uncommon that signs denoting that a vehicle is the official conveyance of an executive magistrate, army official or district administration official plastered onto the vehicles used for smuggling.
For example, on November 7, police confiscated 300 bottles of phensedyl in Comilla from a car owned by a Senior Assistant Secretary of the Public Administration Ministry. The official was not in the car during the drug bust.
Law enforcement sources said there were around 38 yaba factories along the border with Myanmar, reportedly capable of producing three million tablets a day, and 40 phensedyl factories along the Indian border.
The intelligence report said several leaders of associate bodies of the ruling party control the narcotics trade in the capital.
Smugglers are recruiting Imams, snake charmers, trans-genders, physically disabled people, women and even children to work as carriers of drugs.

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