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Tuesday, January 23, 2018 02:16:08 PM
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DMP report appreciable, it must act now to eliminate drug trade

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THE disclosure by Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) in a report compiled last month and reported in a national daily on Sunday on how illegal Yaba trade in the capital is booming under 'political patronisation' is highly sensational. The DMP report saying a section of policemen, who are supposed to clamp down on Yaba traders, are also working as patrons of drug gangs shows the courage of the city police authority to highlight the involvement of some of its members in the illegal trade. But it is not clear how it is disciplining the errant policemen working as complicit to the crime.

The involvement of some members of the law enforcement agencies is known to all in drug peddling in the city and all over the country. They are in fact earning bad names to the entire force although most of them are not party to such crime. In our view the DMP has taken the most courageous steps to identify the gangs and their godfathers but people want to know how the city police are going to eliminate them who are operating from within.   

In fact the involvement of some members of the law enforcing agencies in drug trade is making it difficult for the DMP to eliminate illegal drug trade from the city and also all over the country. Such trade is taking place under the shelter of godfathers that also include ruling party men as per the report wielding huge influence in their respective localities. The police report has identified at least 100 godfathers mostly from ruling party and its front organizations in the capital's six crime zones. It has also named two leaders of two opposition parties and an official of Department of Narcotics Control (DNC) and as they are running the trade almost unimpeded, it is aggravating the city's crime situation such as mugging, killing and other lawlessness.

One should highly appreciate the boldness of the DMP report although it also points out its failure when it said "some corrupt cops could not be transferred as they remained assigned to a known drug spot in the capital for long and facilitated the trade of narcotics including Yaba. They somehow persuaded higher authorities not to change their place of duty." We know a section of police administration is sheltering the crime as they regularly benefit from drug trade mainly coming to the city from Myanmar entering the country using Tekhnaf as the entry point. Big political leaders are involved at many points to protect it from police drive.

Government statistics show the number of seized Yaba rose 22 times in the last five years, suggesting compared to its seizure of 13.60 lakh pills in 2011 to its rose to 2.94 crore in 2016. Yaba consumption per year in Bangladesh is guessed to be 29.45 crore pills worth around Tk 7,363 core. This is a huge money changing hands in underground economy breeding crime and lawlessness in the country.

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