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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 821

And they now gear up narcotic jihad

By Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury

Dhaka, 19 May, (Asiantribune.com): It is current news in Bangladesh. Owner of pro-radical vernacular daily Naya Diganta (New Sky), which was established with dubious fund from Saudi source a few years back, is now under massive interrogation in remand for his involvement in trafficking huge quantity of heroin (narcotic) to European and American destinations.

Bangladeshi intelligence agencies arrested Badruddoza Chowdhury Momen, owner of BD Foods, a company exporting ‘spices’ to Western destinations, for trafficking huge amount of heroin which were packed inside the sachets of spices. On interrogation, Badruddoza confessed to the interrogators that he has smuggled out narcotics worth few hundred million dollars to United States and Europe since 2003.

He said, drugs for trafficking to Western destinations were coming from Afghanistan via Pakistan. “It is a part of our noble responsibility to spoil the Western society with drugs”, Badruddoza said.

BD Foods Chairman has claimed that a top-level leader and member of parliament of Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh helped him smuggle several consignments of ‘illegal goods’ to the United Kingdom. He said, in 2005, his company smuggled 75 kilograms of heroin to United Kingdom and also claimed that another Jamaat leader made efforts to save him from the smuggling charges the police brought after four months of investigation.

‘The Jamaat-e-Islami a lawmaker from a Chittagong (port city in Bangladesh) parliamentary constituency, who is in shipping business, provided all kinds of support (to Badruddoza) to manipulate the export process,’ a member of the investigation committee told. In exchange for the favor, BD Foods provided the expense of Jamaat activities on a regular basis. Badurddoza also confessed that he is involved in smuggling of narcotics to various Western destinations since 2000.

The syndicate also tried to smuggle to the United States 150 kilograms of heroin, concealed in consignments of handicraft, by air through Zia International Airport, which was however, caught and seized by members of law enforcing agencies following secret tips from sources. It was later revealed that a former staff of Badruddoza disclosed the information to law enforcing agencies, as he was sacked from his job recently.

Badruddoza, along with Mir Kashem Ali, Chairman of Rabeta-E-Alam, an NGO funded by Saudi Arabia, established a vernacular daily named Naya Diganta in 2004. It was later disclosed that, dubious Arab sources invested more that 20 million dollars in this project.

With that amount, initiators of Naya Diaganta offered the colored broadsheet daily just at half the price than any other competitor daily, which very dramatically brought the newspaper to the second largest dailies in Bangladesh.

According to editorial policy, this vernacular daily side Jamaat-E-Islami Bangladesh and other Islamist radical forces.

Internationally, it supports Iran, Palestine, Laden, Hamas etc, for obvious reason. It has been learnt that, owners of this vernacular daily shifted a significant amount that they received for the publication of the newspaper, in various dubious businesses, including that of trafficking in narcotics, for quick cash. Even though Badruddoza is now in police custody, a number of influential Islamist leaders as well some of the Arab envoys in Dhaka are pursuing with the government to finally get this drug don released.

On condition of anonymity, members of the interrogation and investigation team told reporters that, this racket smuggled narcotics worth millions of dollars to United States and Europe in past several years, and arrest of Badruddoza Chowdhury Moment might not end the trafficking as several other groups are also involved in the same trade.

In recent years, extremist groups like Al-Qaeda are putting special interests in trafficking narcotics to Western countries through their palls, which they term as Narcotic Jihad. They dream of paralyzing the Western societies with the addiction of drugs.

Meanwhile, owners of vernacular daily Naya Diganta has applied for broadcast license to establish a private television channel named Diganta TV. Bangladesh government is actively considering the proposal for giving license to this group to begin an Islamist television channel.

Meanwhile, brother of Prime Minister, Major (Retired) Sayeed Iskander has got the broadcast license of Islamic TV, which goes on air in July. Earlier several radical leaders applied for the license of Voice of Islam, another TV channel, which is also awaiting approval in the ministry. It is observed that, Islamist radicals are giving emphasis on media by establishing several newspapers and television channels, with the objective of giving support to Islamist revolution in the country.

- Asian Tribune -

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