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While investigating, the narcotics control department (DNC) found evidence of drug smuggling from Bangladesh to the Middle-East, Europe, US, Australia and some other destinations. Similarly, illegal drugs are being smuggled into Bangladesh.

In the latest reported cases, shipments of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) and crystal methamphetamine (khat) to Bangladesh were made by international couriers. Last year, at least 20 drug smuggling related cases were filed in the country. Of the cases, seven are now under trial while the rest are being investigated.

Many courier companies do not have scanner machines and trained manpower. As a result, illegal goods including narcotics are easily smuggled through the unequipped couriers

Although the situation seems worrying, we do not see effective measures yet to curb drug trafficking. Some local courier service providers work as local agents of international couriers and none of them willingly take responsibility when any consignment of narcotics is seized.

Recently the courier business has boomed. There are around 500 courier service ventures–most of those are unauthorised–operating in the country, according to some sector related people. It can be easily assumed that the unauthorised couriers can escape regulatory surveillance in Bangladesh where holding the authorised ones responsible is a big challenge. Many courier companies do not have scanner machines and trained manpower. As a result, illegal goods including narcotics are easily smuggled through the unequipped couriers.

The government agencies and the courier companies together must check drug smuggling at any cost. All the responsible parties must be held accountable. Restrictions on unauthorised courier services should be ensured. The authorised couriers should operate business as per the rules. They should be bound to share their ledger documents with the concerned authorities

Actions must be taken against the local handlers as well as the international smuggling rackets. This is to be noted that every state party is bound to follow the international laws and convention against drug trafficking.

The government’s zero tolerance campaign against narcotics is now a far cry because of the failure in blocking the sources of illegal drugs. Drug trafficking is going on through various routes. Hence, there is no alternative but to sharpen surveillance in all routes of transportation.

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