Submit addresses of top drug dealers within one month: HC

The High Court buildingFile photo

The High Court has directed the Department of Narcotics Control (DNC) to submit a list of the country’s top drug dealers, including their names and addresses, within one month.

A HC bench comprising justice Nazrul Islam Talukder and justice Khijir Hayat passed the order along with a rule hearing a supplemental petition on Sunday.

Supreme Court lawyer Subir Nandi Das had filed the petition on 13 June, seeking the court’s order for submitting a report on the investigation into alleged laundering of Tk 51 billion via drug business.

Senior lawyer Khurshid Alam Khan argued in favour of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) while deputy attorney general Saifuddin Khaled represented the state.

Earlier, Subir Nandi Das, along with another lawyer, filed a writ petition seeking immediate action to recover the money deposited in foreign banks, particularly Swiss banks, from various individuals and institutions in Bangladesh. The High Court heard the writ petition and issued an order.

Meanwhile, a report, titled “Narcotics trade launders Tk 50 billion annually”, was published in Prothom Alo on 11 June. Subir Nandi Das later filed a supplemental petition incorporating the Prothom Alo report.

The High Court ordered the ACC, Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit (BFIU), Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of police, National Board of Revenue (NBR), and Department of Narcotics Control (DNC) to investigate the issue and submit their reports within two months.

According to the Prothom Alo report, every year an estimated USD 481 million or about Tk 51.47 billion is smuggled out of Bangladesh through the drug trade, making it the fifth highest country worldwide in terms of siphoning money from drug profits.

Among Asian countries, Bangladesh takes the lead in money laundering through drug trading.

However, the amount of money siphoned out was projected through estimation. The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) published the information in a report on illicit financial flows on their website.

In its report, the UN organisation underscored the estimation based accounts of illegal money outflow through drug business in nine countries of the world including Bangladesh. The other countries are Afghanistan, Colombia, Ecuador, Maldives, Mexico, Myanmar, Nepal and Peru.