Vol. 5 Num 400 Tue. July 12, 2005  
Front Page

UK customs detect smuggling of 75kg heroin from Dhaka
Drug reached London in guise of tiles, cosmetics, food

The UK customs and excise (C&E) department has reported to its Bangladeshi counterpart that a group of Bangladeshi business concerns have smuggled around 75.5 kilograms of heroin worth about Tk 75 crore into Britain in guise of three mercantile shipments.

The UK C&E department in a letter sent through the British deputy high commissioner in Mumbai on May 20 also asked the Directorate of Customs Intelligence and Investigation (DCII) of Bangladesh to probe the drug trafficking.

But the DCCI will not carry out the investigation, its Director General (DG) Shah Alam Khan has told The Daily Star. "The incidents were detected by the British customs and the responsibility of further investigations lies on them," he explained. However, "if they request us for assistance, we will provide that," he added.

Khan said his office has verbally informed its position to the UK mission in Mumbai.

According to the letter signed by Simon Sutcliffe, an official of the British mission, Green Heaven Enterprise of 64, BK Dash Road, Sutrapore, Emdad Trading of 195/1, Fakirapool and Jamil International of 190, Fakirapool, Dhaka sent the drug by three manifested shipments of floor tiles, beauty products and foodstuff. The shipments reached Britain on April 17, March 3 and February 14 last.

But The Daily Star did not find any business house of those names to exist now or ever at those addresses.

Abdur Rahman, owner of Rahman Mansion at 195/1, Fakirapool, said he never rented his house to any such business concern.

In the letter the British customs said the consignees were Assad Ahmed of Granite Enterprise at 2, Harrington Road, Leytonstone, Shuhel Ahmed of Ocean Line Foods at Rivington House, 82, Great Eastern Street, and Shah Alom of Bengal Bay at 377, Edgeware Road, London.

The UK customs said the first freight consisted of 330 brown cardboard boxes labelled Trazoro Floor Tiles. Each box was marked to weigh 22/23 kg and to contain four pieces of ceramic and stone tiles. But inspection revealed 108 of the boxes contained approximately half a kilo heroin each. The drug was kept hidden inside the hollow tiles. Around 54kg heroin was smuggled by that shipment.

The Mumbai mission of the UK requested the DCCI to verify the authenticity and gather the background of the Bangladeshi firms, sought lists of their normal merchandise and also asked to find if they have any previous crime record.