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Drug smuggling through courier services on rise

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Staff Reporter :
Drug smuggling to different local and international destinations through courier services have increased in the recent time.
An official of RAB told The New Nation that smuggling through courier services is going on taking advantage of lax monitoring of the authorities concerned.
On the other hand the international drug trafficking ring is reportedly using Dhaka as a safe place for smuggling Yaba and amphetamine, methamphetamine as raw materials of Yaba, officials also said.
Sources in the RAB said smugglers use false identity to avail the services and hire low-income people to receive the consignments from courier offices.
The illegal substances are kept hidden in brooms, fruit baskets, rice cookers, rice sacks and baby food etc, sources said.
A team of RAB-2, recently arrested a couple and following their confession recovered 500 grams of heroin hidden inside a basket of mangoes and a pressure cooker from a courier service centre in the capital's Elephant Road area.
In another drive, RAB-2 officials arrested Mizanur Rahman, 25, from the capital's Dhanmondi and recovered 15,000 pieces of Yaba from his possession. Mizan smuggled the drugs from Cox's Bazar hiding the substances inside a broom.
Mohammed Mohiuddin Faruqe, company commander of RAB-2, told The New Nation that the arrested confessed about using courier services for narcotics smuggling in recent times.
"A huge number of products are coming through courier services every day, and it is impossible for law enforcement officials to seize the drugs if there is no specific information" RAB-2 commander added.
He said that smugglers are using courier services to send narcotics from bordering districts to Dhaka.
Mohiuddin said "We think, RAB can seize not more than four to five percent of narcotics entering Dhaka via courier services. The rest reach the dealers.
Meanwhile, last week, Department of Narcotics Control (DNC) seized banned drugs amphetamine powder worth over Tk 24 crore from a cargo flight of Biman Bangladesh Airlines. Amphetamine is the raw materials of Yaba. Six suspected people who were involved in the smuggling arrested.
The drugs were sending to Australia from Bangladesh via Hong Kong by International courier service named FedEx.
DNC Director (operation) Golam Rabbani said It is a task of international drug smuggling racket. It's not a local issue. We are dealing with the matter very seriously.
The Director said that they have already increased monitoring the activities of courier service so that nobody can smuggle drugs behind different products. "We also think that we can adopt a new policy to control them in the future."
Shafikul Islam Sarker, a chemical expert of DNC, said that the smugglers had made a chamber in the carton. "They used a thick layer of carbon paper. Then they filled the drugs in a small poly pack and used foil paper. And all this was done to evade the scanner."
Hafizur Rahman Pulok, President of Courier Service Association of Bangladesh, said they have CCTV cameras in booking offices, and whenever anyone comes for booking, the courier staffers check the products in front of the owner.
The phone numbers of senders and recipients are also verified, he added. "Still, narcotics smugglers sometimes manage to send consignments, but in those cases we always help law enforcers by providing all the necessary information."
Professor Zia Rahman, Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Dhaka University, told The New Nation that law enforcement and DNC should increase their vigilance on courier services .
They  should  adopt a new policy to control narcotics smugglers in the country, he said.

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