The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) found 15 government officials, working in different departments, to be involved in a syndicate concerning trafficking of ‘khat’, a new kind of drug originated in Africa.
The agency submitted a charge-sheet on February 28, accusing 11 drug traffickers without mentioning the name of the government officials.
Sources said that a number of officials of DPMG Foreign Post and customs; and officials of Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport and Khamar Bari, working at various administrative levels, were involved with the drug syndicate.
“15 government officials have been found to be involved in the affair. We will, formally, inform ACC and Public Administration Ministry about these officers,” said Razib Farhan, CID’S special additional superintendent.
Investigators said that further investigation is going on against the involved officials.
The officials helped the traffickers to use Bangladesh as part of an international route to smuggle the new drug.
Investigating officers claimed that they sent the drugs for chemical tests in the lab and obtained a fake report, in the process, from the concerned government officials; who certified the drugs as ‘green tea’.
Till now, seven cases have been lodged over the ‘Khat’ drug trade by different law enforcing agencies; of these, CID is investigating this high profile case for the last six months.
The traffickers accused in the charge sheet are: Uzzal Miah, Munna, Md. Rashekul Amin, SM Saiful Alam, Mohammad Joy alias Rana, Emdadul Haque Badal Sarker, Rashed Hossain, Mahbub Alam Hawlader, Raich Ullah, Amin Ullah alias Liton, and Jasim Uddin.
Since 2016, ‘khat’, internationally labelled as ‘C’ category drug, has been brought to the country from Ethiopia by labelling the drug as ‘green tea’. International drug traffickers have been using Bangladesh as a safer route to smuggle the drug to European cities such as London and Paris.
On August 2018, police caught, for the first time, a large consignment of the drug, internationally dubbed as ‘tea of Arab’, that cause excitement and euphoria. The largest consignment, ever, of ‘khat’ (1,600kg of khat, worth Tk2.38 crore) was seized at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport on September 10 of the same year by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID).