Geographical location makes BD drugs route : Minister

Dhaka, June 24 (UNB) – Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan on Monday said illegal drugs enter Bangladesh from India and Myanmar due to its geographical location.

“Although Bangladesh is not a drug-producing country, it’s now facing the menace due to its geographical location,” he said while responding to a tabled starred question from Jatiya Party MP M Mujibul Huq in Parliament.

The minister said Yaba is coming to the country from Myanmar while cannabis, Phensidyl, heroin and injectable drugs are making their way into Bangladesh from India.

He said Yaba is smuggled into the country mainly through the Naf River. “To prevent the entry of Yaba into Bangladesh, the government has created a temporary circle of the Department of Narcotics Control (DNC) comprising of nine officials. 

Besides, an anti-narcotic team of 19 officials, including 10 Ansar men, is working in Cox’s Bazar district,” he said.

Asaduzzaman also mentioned that 31 posts have been created at the DNC under the leadership of deputy director in Cox’s Bazar.

He said there is a plan to establish a naval unit in Teknaf of Cox’s Bazar to stop drug smuggling.

The minister said at present, Ansar men are deployed in five bordering districts while adequate number of Ansar men will be deployed gradually in other bordering districts of the country along with the DNC officials.

He said law enforcement agencies lodged 119,878 cases against 161,323 drug traders in 2018 while the number was 6156 against 6671 drug traders in the first month of the current year.

To tackle the drug problem, Asaduzzaman said, five bilateral meetings at the director general level were held between Bangladesh and India while a move is underway to hold the sixth one.

Three meetings were held with Myanmar while the fourth one will be held in October or November this year, he said.

Replying to another question from ruling party MP M Abdul Latif, Asaduzzaman said the government has taken a project to collect special helicopters for using those during any fire incident in multi-storey buildings.

Besides, he said, scrutiny of specification for purchasing a Ka-32A11BC firefighting helicopter from a Russian company is under process.

Answering to another query from ruling party MP Mozaffar Hossain, the minister said the approved workforce of police is 212,007 with 201,393 of them being policemen and 10,614 non-police.

He said as the number of police is lesser than the requirement, the government in its first term created 32,031 posts while 48,300 posts were created during the second term against approved 50,000 ones. “A proposal for creating the rest of the posts is under process at different ministries,” he said.