Narinjara News

Bangladesh: the new passage to Drugs from Golden Triangle

Dhaka, 12 May 03: 
The porous border of Bangladesh is a challenge for the Department of Narcotics Control (DNC) since there is a marked increase in drug users and peddlers all over the country in recent years.  In Cox’s Bazaar, a border town in the southeastern part, close to the border with Burma, a large number of youths could be found who deal and use narcotics including heroin. 

One official of DNC said to the Independent, “We don’t have any specific figure of the addicts but the number is huge.  We only have an official statistics about Injecting Drug Users (IDU), which is 3,000, but the actual number would be close to 20,000.   IDUs are mostly responsible for spreading diseases like HIV/AIDS.”

Opium and its various derivatives including heroin is basically produced in the Golden Triangle formed by the borders of Thailand, Laos and Burma.  While the drug trade is facing a serious setback in Thailand because of an all-out campaign to free the country from the scourges of drugs, the producers and smugglers are increasingly using their elusive techniques of diverting the route for the transit of their produce through Bangladesh

According to the monitoring report of DNC the volume of drug trafficking began to rise since 1995 and its consumption picked up the race, too.  An official on condition of anonymity told the Independent that nearly seventy percent of the opium produced in the golden triangle is smuggled through Bangladesh.  The traffickers with the clandestine link with officials of different agencies involved in drug control carry out the trade beyond the reach of the hand of the law. 

Director of the DNC also said that considering the worsening situation the government (of Bangladesh) has decided to include drug as a subject in the curriculum at the primary school level.  An awareness drive might also help to check the growing number of drug addicts.  He also added that his department is shorthanded and has little logistic support to fight drug trafficking.

Bangladesh has a long porous coastline stretching from Chittagong to Teknaf on the Burmese border through which a huge traffic in smuggled goods is an open secret.  The possibility of drug transit through this coastline cannot be ruled out, said a veteran journalist.  #