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Yaba crisis overshadows booming cannabis trade

  • Published at 10:20 am May 5th, 2018
  • Last updated at 11:15 am May 22nd, 2018
Yaba crisis overshadows booming cannabis trade

While law enforcement agencies are taking action to prevent the spread of yaba, prevention of other contraband drugs are getting low priority. Cannabis from India, coming via Cumilla and Brahmanbaria borders, is spreading in the country through the land route. 

Police’s detective branch has identified these two districts as the key route of smuggling cannabis to the country. 

According to the detectives, a group from Dhaka is controlling such contraband drugs smuggling business. They rent houses near the borders and store the illegally imported cannabis. 

Later at a convenient time, they transport them to other parts of the country via Dhaka and Chittagong. It is considered that the harmful aspects of cannabis have been neglected due to the yaba epidemic. Even the law enforcement agencies are giving less attention to preventing cannabis. Their own efforts are focused on yaba dealers. They are spending most of their ‘source money’ on such actions. 

According to the information provided by police’s detective branch, the number of cannabis addicts is increasing among the people of various classes and occupations. Cannabis is now popular among the drug abusers. It is known that smugglers are bringing cannabis from India as its demand is much higher than the cannabis from the Bangladesh's hilly areas. 

Meanwhile, some drug dealers have become millionaires by smuggling marijuana. Detectives of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) have found some groups in the border areas of Cumilla and Brahmanbaria, which are involved in smuggling marijuana. Many of them have become millionaires by smuggling marijuana. 

However in Dhaka, members of two groups bought houses and cars by trading cannabis.

Shipment of 100kg cannabis seized

Recently the airport team of DMP’s detective branch (DB) has seized a large consignment consisting of 100kg cannabis from Khilkhet area, which was brought from Cumilla in a special way. After seizing the consignment, the team got crucial information about the route of smuggling marijuana. 

DB Police Airport Zonal Team Senior Assistant Police Commissioner Muharram Ali, who led the drive to seize the shipment, said police have arrested a drug dealer named Md Azizul Haque during the drive at Khilkhet on April 24. The detectives got information about the route and several groups involved in such smuggling activities from Azizul, he added. 

DB’s airport zonal team has seized a total of 120kg of cannabis in three shipments in last four months, of which the April 24’s consignment was the biggest. The shipment was brought by Demra’s Humayun, who is also known as the biggest cannabis peddler in Dhaka. 

Under his leadership, cannabis are imported through some routes of Cumilla and Brahmanbaria borders. The border centric drug dealers of the two districts work with Humayun. There are two more associates of Humayun named Jakir Hossain and Dalim. 

They lead a syndicate, which has been smuggling cannabis in various techniques for few years. Later, they smuggle the cannabis to Madaripur, Faridpur, Barishal and Savar area by a third party.

How the cannabis enter the country through border?

According to DB investigation, Kasba’s Bokul and Cumilla’s Monosh and Faruk help in smuggling cannabis through the border. Primary investigation exposed the names of these three people. 

Apart from them, there are several groups in Cumilla and Brahmanbaria who import marijuana illegally from the border and provide them to the syndicate in Dhaka. The Dhaka syndicate actually makes deals with the border centric syndicates. They bring in consignments of varying sizes, and then supply them to the retail cannabis peddlers. On April 30, DB’s west division arrested two drug peddlers, Rubel and Kabir Hossain, with 125kg of cannabis. 

They illegally transported marijuana from Cumilla to Dhaka through an ambulance. The ambulance carrying the cannabis was stated to be transported from Dhaka to various areas of the country. According to the information by the law enforcement agencies, Brahmanbaria, Kasba, Akhaura, Bijoynagar, Debidar of Cumilla, and Cumilla Sadar are notorious routes for illegal importation of marijuana. Marijuana is smuggled into Dhaka from India in the midst of the darkness of the night. 

These drugs are illegally transported into Dhaka through train, private cars and microbus by coming into a deal with the syndicates of Dhaka. It is known that the drivers who smuggle cannabis into Dhaka charge around Tk10,000 to 20,000. The cannabis peddlers are divided into two groups when they come from Cumilla. The vehicle carrying the main dealers does not consist of any consignment. 

The cannabis are hidden in the next car behind. The first car alerts the car carrying cannabis about the police checkpost. Members of the DB police informed that almost all of the cannabis, which was seized in last one year, were smuggled from India through the borders of Cumilla and Brahmanbaria. 

Most of the people, who were caught with the shipments, were the members of Demra’s Humayun group. The DB police have already conducted several drives to arrest Humayun but he managed to escape every time. Related sources said the cause of reckless driving and road accidents is related to addiction to cannabis. 

The drivers are driving the vehicles after consuming cannabis. 

The article was first published on banglatribune.com

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