Heroin Smuggling to UK |
More shipments detected
Death threats issued to investigating officers
Jasim Uddin Khan
Intelligence agencies have found out that the racket that had smuggled 75 kilogram heroin to the United Kingdom also trafficked another 72kg of the drug later to the same destination.
The Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) and Special Branch (SB) of police are now probing into the smuggling.
But, sources said, despite a home ministry directive to handle the case promptly, the CID, which is coordinating the investigation, is foot-dragging and is yet to file any case in this connection.
The agencies are investigating into the latest finding about the international drug smuggling ring, although the UK customs have not informed them about it.
Intelligence sources said the smuggling racket also manifested its penchant for violence by issuing death threats to some intelligence officials through courier services yesterday.
The officials have informed their seniors about the threats and are planning to file general diaries in this connection, the sources added.
According to a primary investigation report, a leading private food company of the country, BD Foods Limited, and its sister concern King & Co manipulated the entire export process of the drug smuggling.
The investigation found Badrul Haider Chowdhury, chairman of both BD Foods Ltd and King & Co, and King & Co employees Nazmul Haider Bhuiyan and Mainuddin involved in the smuggling. The UK customs filed a case with its London head office mentioning the three as suspected international drug smugglers, sources said.
Meanwhile, the directors and high officials of both the firms are remaining absent from their offices, both located at 9 DIT Avenue, Motijheel, Dhaka. When asked, an accountant of BD Foods Ltd, Syful Islam, confirmed that the directors have not been coming to the office regularly.
The sources said the UK customs also mentioned six Bangladeshi business houses--BD Foods Ltd, King and Co, Messrs Emdad Traders, Messrs Jamil International, Messrs MM Enterprise and Green Heaven Enterprise--as suspected international drug traffickers.
A three-member UK customs team is likely to arrive in Dhaka next week to further investigate the racketeering and also to provide the Bangladesh government with technological support to probe into such a high-level international drug smuggling.
The UK Customs and Excise Department in a letter sent through the British deputy high commissioner in Mumbai on May 20, 2005 first asked the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Department of Bangladesh to probe into the drug trafficking.
According to the letter, signed by Simon Sutcliffe, an official of the UK Mumbai mission, Green Heaven Enterprise of 64, BK Dash Road, Sutrapur, Emdad Trading of 195/1 Fakirerpool and Jamil International of 190 Fakirerpool, Dhaka, sent heroin to the UK by three manifested shipments of floor tiles, beauty products and foodstuff. The shipments reached Britain on February 14, March 3, and April 17 last year.
The news of Bangladeshi business houses being involved in heroin smuggling in the guise of exporting legitimate goods gave rise to serious concerns among garment exporters of the country. In a press release yesterday Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) condemned the criminal acts.
If the allegations turn out to be true then it would harm the image of Bangladeshi exporters abroad, observed the BGMEA. It urged the authorities to find the offenders and take punitive measures against them.
In a separate press release Bangladesh Agro Processors Association (Bapa) also condemned the drug smuggling and asked the government to punish the culprits.