Monday, May 28, 2018 | ePaper

Keep watch on transport agencies dispatching drug nationwide

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A SECTION of drug peddlers have been reported to operate by engaging transport agencies in Chittagong and Cox's Bazar to dispatch drugs under cover. According to insiders and investigators, the smugglers are shipping the lethal Yaba pills across the country from Chittagong in their own vehicles, especially covered vans, to dodge law enforcement agencies. Furthermore, more than 3 lakh Yaba pills had been recovered from covered vans last year in different parts of Chittagong leading to arrests of some 12 transport workers.

However, the prospects for smuggling drugs by using transport agencies and particularly covered vans should have been seriously considered and deterred long ago. In fact, the innovative technique was first unravelled on August of 2016, when Rapid Action Battalion (RAB-7) recovered 90,000 pills from two transport agencies and arrested two workers. The agencies were about to send the drugs to Dhaka in cartons of electrical goods.

And what developments followed next, like us, is unknown to all. Given the booming popularity of the numerable transport agencies for transporting goods from one division to another - it is likely that the volume of drug peddling has also increased. The quantity which was confiscated last year is merely a tip of the iceberg.

Most significantly, based on police sources we came to learn that drug traders are investing in transport businesses and using the covered vans and trucks to peddle drugs from Cox's Bazar and Chittagong to elsewhere in the country. On one hand the drug smugglers have now come to own transport agencies for smuggling while on the other the owners of the transport agencies are running the businesses through supervisors and commissioned agents so that they can remain untraceable if police seize their consignments. Additionally, the agents of the transport agencies mainly target perishable items like fish and vegetables as law enforcers usually do not check such cargo thoroughly.

Particularly, smartly camouflaged trucks, covered vans and buses are the most preferred transports by smugglers. Nevertheless, what's dangerous is that in most cases the goods for transport is never inspected or monitored, and in the case of narcotics - transport agencies deliberately remains ignored undoubtedly for having their respective shares in the criminal trade. Understandably, the transport agencies have become a stakeholder and the government law agencies should now particularly focus, search for clues and identify the ring leaders.

We believe, enough loopholes, newer shipping methods and prospects for trading in illegal contraband drugs by using transport agencies have so far been revealed. Now it's time for connecting the dots while taking the correct form of stern action against the drug dealers. The message is simple - smuggling drugs is not rocket science and can be tackled.

We want to see sincerity, swiftness and police professionalism in this regard.   


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