• Sunday, Nov 17, 2019
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‘RAB yet to evaluate success of drug war’

  • Published at 01:47 am June 27th, 2019
RAB DG Benazir Ahmed-Mahmud Hossain Opu
RAB DG Benazir Ahmed addresses a seminar at the University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB) in Dhaka on Wednesday Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune

The elite force DG said that RAB is facing new challenges day-by-day as drug traffickers are changing strategies in smuggling drugs on a daily basis.

Bangladesh is yet to evaluate its success on drug war – waged since May 2018, said Benazir Ahmed, director general (DG) of Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) forces, though a lot of “crossfire,” “gunfight,” and extrajudicial killing took over the last year.

“Success or failure [on drug war] is part of a process. We will judge it at the end of the process. This is not the time to judge, this is time to join hands [to fight against drugs],” said Benazir Ahmed , speaking as chief guest at a seminar marking the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking held at University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB) at Dhanmondi in Dhaka.

The elite force DG said that RAB is facing new challenges day-by-day as drug traffickers are changing strategies in smuggling drugs on a daily basis.

As of yet, 21,000 drug traffickers and dealers have been arrested, he claimed, and a lot of drugs have been seized worth Tk700 crore.

Calling drug a “monster,” he said: “This may damage the country’s economic and judiciary system, as it happened in Latin America.

“The country’s GDP growth is supposed to increase by 2030 when Padma Bridge is opened. Why should we [Bangladesh] be defeated by the power of this ill omen.”

He urged the entire nation to fight against drugs, especially the youth.

Mentioning yaba as the prime problem, he said: “People who are involved in yaba trade are staying on the other side of the border [Myanmar].”

Member of National Narcotics Control Board Arup Ratan Choudhury presented the keynote paper at the seminar.

There are 7.5 million drug abusers in the country.  Of them, 80% are young and about 60% are involved in crime. Of the total, 57% are recorded sex offenders, Arup said in his presentation.