The government is formulating a law, titled 'Narcotics Control Act, 2018,' aimed at taking strong punitive measures against patrons of drug trading, drug syndicates, and godfathers.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday said the government is formulating an anti-narcotics law with a death penalty provision for “patrons of drug traders, drug syndicates, and godfathers.”
"There'll be a proposal in the law to award the death penalty to patrons of drug trading, drug-syndicates, and god-fathers," she said.
The premier said this while replying to a tabled question of an independent lawmaker, M Rustam Ali Fazari, in parliament during the PM's Q&A session.
“The limitation of the current law is, she said, it has less scope to try ‘masterminds’ of the narcotics business,” she said.
"So, the masterminds of this drug business escape easily."
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She mentioned that the government is formulating a law, titled 'Narcotics Control Act, 2018,' aimed at taking strong punitive measures against patrons of drug trading, drug syndicates, and godfathers.
Under this new law, the prime minister said, Narcotics Department officials will have the power to investigate money-laundering crimes to bring patrons of drug traders or trading organizations under the purview of this law.
She also said the government has a plan to form a separate court to run the proceedings of crimes under the Narcotics Control Act, 1990.
The Ministry of Law, Justice, and Parliamentary Affairs is looking into the matter, the PM said.
She said the government always maintains a tough stance against drugs and drug-related criminals. The law enforcement agencies have taken strong steps against drug smugglers, drug traders, drug addicts and drug smuggling syndicates, to put up a strong resistance against the aggression of drugs in society.
"Apart from the regular ones, special drives are being conducted against drug-related criminals," she said.
Since May 18, 2018, large cache of drugs, arms and ammunition, and vehicles used to transport these have been recovered and seized during the anti-drug drive, the PM told the House.
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"So far, 15,333 drug-related cases have been registered in which 20,767 accused persons have been arrested and placed before court," she said.
Replying to another question from Awami League MP, Mostafizur Rahman Chowdhury, Prime Minister Hasina expressed her high optimism that the government would be able to stop drug smuggling with the ongoing drive against drugs and drug abuse, and thus protect youth from social degradation.
She said the government has adopted a 'zero tolerance' policy against drugs and the Narcotics Control Department, Police, BGB, RAB and other law enforcement agencies are relentlessly working to that end.
The leader of the House also said some 106,536 cases were filed against 132,883 drug dealers in 2017.
During the period of January to March, some 35,112 accused were arrested in 27,340 cases, Hasina said.
"The lists of yaba traders have been updated to conduct regular drives against them," she said.