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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 725

Bangladesh heroin smuggler Momen names six government officials as abettors in the crime

Dhaka, 21 May, (INS + Asiantribune.com): The chairman of BD Foods, a ring leader of narcotic smuggling racket has claimed that six top-ranking officials of four key government agencies helped him to keep the smuggling of heroin to the United Kingdom under wraps in exchange for a hefty amount of money, investigators said. It is also learnt from interrogation that, major portion of profit accrued from the trafficking in narcotic went for funding Islamist terrorist groups within Bangladesh and outside.

Badruddoza Chowdhury Momen, chairman of BD Foods Limited who has been remanded for interrogation about the smuggling of 75.5 kilograms of heroin to the UK in 2005, also claimed that the officials had tried to save him from smuggling charges after receiving letters from the British authorities.

Two of them work for the customs intelligence and investigation department, two for the Dhaka Zone of the Department of Narcotics Control, one for the anti-money laundering department of the Bangladesh Bank and one for the National Board of Revenue, he said.

Momen was quoted as telling the investigators that the officials had assured him that the blame for the smuggling would be passed on to the clearing and forwarding agents.

‘We will talk to the officials,’ a member of the investigation committee said.
Meanwhile, the five-member investigation committee has been provided with further information in respect of drug trafficking from Bangladesh to the UK.

‘The British authorities first came to know about the heroin smuggling in 2004 and arrested 12 UK citizens of Bangladeshi origin,’ said another member of the committee. ‘Five of them have already been sentenced to 21 years’ imprisonment each.’

‘Four Bangladeshi-born Britons – Shafiqul Islam, Mohammad Amin, Iqbal Hossain and Mohammad Sadiq – were also each sentenced to 18 years’ imprisonment in 2005 on similar charges,’ he added.

All the imprisoned drug traffickers are from Sylhet, the investigators said.

Abdur Razzak, the investigation officer of the case on the smuggling filed with the Sutrapur police station, on Friday to produce Mohammad Mainuddin, manager of the BD Foods and King and Company, seeking a 10-day police remand on the charge of smuggling 54 kilograms of heroin. The court remanded him for three days.

The committee started the investigation on April 6 at the instruction of the home ministry after several reports were published about the case in some national and international dailies.

In 2005 a five-member probe committee formed by the National Board of Revenue found five Bangladeshi business companies involved in smuggling heroin to the UK.

The board initiated the enquiry after the UK customs in a message through the British mission in Mumbai accused King and Company, a sister concern of BD Foods Limited, Emdad Traders, Jamil International, MM Enterprise, and Green Heaven Enterprise of trafficking 75.5 kilograms of heroin to the UK.

Meanwhile, vernacular daily Naya Diganta, which is owned by Baduruddoza Chowdhury Momen has started campaign to give an eye wash to the entire incident and save their owner.

Bangladesh home minister Lutfuzzaman Babar has already instructed the interrogators to find out all possible clues of the matter and arrest every culprit involved in the narcotic smuggling ring. He has asked the members of law enforcing agencies as well interrogation team to work without any bias or influence. Babar repeatedly told reporters that his government is committed in combating any sort of crime including trafficking of drugs.

- ASian Tribune -

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