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Narcotics Control Act draft approved

Death penalty for smuggling, selling drugs

Highest sentence for keeping over 5gm yaba, 25gm cocaine

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Staff Reporter :
The Cabinet has approved in principle the draft of Narcotics Control Act 2018, keeping provisions of death sentences for producing, smuggling, distributing and using over 5 grams of yaba or 25grams of heroin/cocaine.
However, if yaba dealers are found with less than five grams of the drug can be sentenced to maximum 15 years in prison.
The provision of strict measures was kept in the new act to control the massive spread of drugs among 80 lakh users and peddlers.
The draft act received the green light at the weekly Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at her office in the capital on Monday.
Cabinet Secretary Shafiul Alam confirmed the matter to reporters at a press briefing after the weekly Cabinet meeting.
Briefing reporters, Cabinet Secretary Md Shafiul Alam said, "The new draft of the 28-year-old law [Narcotics Control Act 1990] has been adjusted in line with the other international anti-narcotics laws."
"Keeping provisions of death sentences for production, trafficking, distribution and use of over 5 grams of Yaba or 25 grams of heroin/cocaine or similar types of drugs," the cabinet secretary said.
"The punishment for transporting, trading, storing, producing, processing, applying and using more than five grams of yaba or amphetamines will be the death penalty or life-term imprisonment," said Shafiul Alam.
In case of less than five grams of yaba, he said, the punishment will be minimum one year in jail and maximum five years' imprisonment alongside the fine.
The cabinet secretary said yaba or amphetamine substances group was included into the A-category narcotics in the proposed law as it is not in the existing Narcotics Control Act 1990.
The punishment for transporting, trading, storing, producing, processing, applying and using more than 25 grams of narcotics originated from heroin, cocaine and coca will be the death penalty or life-term imprisonment, while for less than 25 grams (A-category narcotics) will be minimum two years of imprisonment and maximum 10 years of jail, he said. According to the bill, the maximum punishment for any individual or organisation in case of financing or patronising drug dealing will be the death penalty, Shafiul Alam said.
"If any individual or organisation finances, supplies money, instigates or patronises such crimes will face the similar punishment as per the law," he said.
Alongside yaba, shisha and dope test were incorporated in the draft bill as the exiting Narcotics Control Act 1990 does not address these, he said, adding that the chemical of 'khat' drug was also mentioned in the proposed law.
"The proposed law will cover all the narcotic substances," the cabinet secretary said, adding that all sorts of narcotics of the world were included in different categories of the bill.
He also said any drink containing 0.5 percent or more than alcohol will be considered as beer.
License will be needed to sell such kinds of drink. If any condition of the license is violated, Tk 1 lakh fine will have to submit by offender. Besides, the cabinet gave final approval to the draft of Bangladesh Labour (amendment) Act -2018 and it also cleared draft of Bangladesh Technical Education Board Act-2018.
The cabinet also congratulated Bangladesh U-18 national women's football team for clinching the title of SAFF U-18 Women's Championship.

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