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Bangladesh - Uncategorized - 2 weeks ago

Widespread drug menace in Sonargaon

Involvement of political figures alleged

Narayanganj Correspondent: The Sonargaon Upazila of Narayanganj, comprising 10 unions and one municipality, is grappling with an escalating drug problem. Deadly substances like yaba, phensedyl, and marijuana have infiltrated every ward of the unions, with the most severe situation in the Sonargaon municipal area. The Pirojpur, Kanchpur, and Mograpara unions are particularly affected.

Sources said drug trading hotspots in Sonargaon Municipality include Puler Gora in Ward 1 of Panam Nagar and every nook and corner of Wards 2 and 9. The proximity to the Dhaka-Chattogram Highway has exacerbated the problem in the Pirojpur, Kanchpur, and Mograpara unions. Phensedyl flows easily from India through Comilla, while yaba reaches the area via the Teknaf-Cox’s Bazar route from Myanmar.

Police officials said they frequently intercept large shipments of drugs on the highway, particularly those hidden in trucks carrying wood and furniture. Despite these efforts, drugs still find their way into the area. Sources said traffickers shift to river routes as law enforcement agencies increase their efforts on-road routes. Drugs enter different villages in Sonargaon through the Meghna River’s Meghna Ghat in Baidyer Bazar and Chhotakia Ghat in Borodi Union.

Additionally, the Langalbandh Bridge on the Dhaka-Chattogram Highway provides a route via the Brahmaputra River to Dori Kandi and Sonakhali villages in eastern Sonargaon. From there, they cross into Narayanganj Bandar Upazila. The vastness of the river routes makes it difficult for law enforcement to patrol effectively, allowing traffickers to smuggle drugs concealed under loads of sand on cargo boats.

As a result, the widespread drug trade has infiltrated many areas, including the neighbourhoods of Baidyer Bazar, Zianagar, Bhati Bandar, Bhavanathpur, Pirojpur, Korbanpur, Ashariarchar, Dudghata, Mograpara, Barodi Sadipur, Kanchpur, and Jampur, affecting over a hundred villages.

Who Are the Patrons?

Multiple sources report that leaders of several affiliate organizations of the ruling party are involved in the yaba and other drug trades in Sonargaon Municipality. Several leaders of the Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL), suspended from the party, are allegedly providing protection for drug operations. Additionally, another group not directly involved with the party flaunts photos with local representatives and leaders of the ruling party. Local political leaders depend on these drug dealers and their operatives to enforce political programs, enabling them to continue selling yaba across various wards of the municipality. These drug traffickers also clash over supremacy in the drug trade. On June 9, miscreants hacked a 22-year-old local youth, Fazla Rabbi, to death due to conflicts within the drug trade.

According to the local police report, there are 598 listed drug dealers in Sonargaon. Despite arresting many of them at different times, they often secure bail and resume drug trading. Allegations have surfaced that some corrupt officials within the administration receive large amounts of money from drug dealers weekly. Middlemen collect money from the drug dealers and send it to the officials. As a result, the drug trade in Sonargaon has continued openly and recklessly.

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