POST TIME: 3 September, 2018 00:00 00 AM
Be vigilant about narcotics

Be vigilant about narcotics

Amidst a country wide crackdown on drugs, the seizure of 468 kg of psychoactive substance, NPS, reportedly from Ethiopia at the Hazrat Shahjalal Airport, sends a chilling message about new drugs entering the market. The Department of Narcotics Control (DNC), working on a tip off, got hold of the shipment which was brought into the country as green tea powder. The worrying thing is that the substance, which is believed to produce the effect as yaba, is green in colour and, on the surface, looks innocuous.

Unless the DNC had been warned, this shipment would not have been intercepted. Obviously, if a narcotic looks like any other harmless substance we know and consume, it will be difficult to detect shipments entering the country. The same happened in the case of yaba at the turn of the century when small pink tablets used in rave parties to elevate the mood hardly conjured up the grotesque scene of addiction we now see affecting all layers of society.

To go back even further, in the mid-80s, Phensidyl, the cough syrup, also did not seem to be too damaging when initial news of abuse emerged. The past should be our warning. If a narcotic, looking like tea powder, is entering then the DNC plus all law enforcement agencies should be given special lessons on drugs that are still not available on a wide scale.

The recent haul is believed to have come from Ethiopia in Africa, a country in a far off continent, but since a drug link has been found, DNC officers need to be sent to Africa to get a broad idea of the narcotics still not widely known. This is a pre-emptive move that will help us from being hoodwinked by an illegal product, either in powder, liquid or tablet form.

Reportedly, the shipment caught at the airport was destined for a company called Nawahin Enterprise. This may be a false name but since the subterfuge was being done through legal channels, there must be an address and names which the police can track down.

The DNC also needs to go deeper to find how a powder like substance capable of producing yaba effect was identified in Bangladesh and by whom. There has been a steep rise in Africans in Bangladesh in the last decade. Many are here for sports, mainly football, but others need to be monitored closely. Also, law has to be vigilant that sports are not used as a cover for nefarious deeds.