Police recovered around 8 lakh pieces yaba
374 people were arrested every day in narcotics cases on an average
258 cases were lodged every day on an average
- 465 narcotics cases were lodged in 50 police stations in June
- 281 cases were lodged in April, May
Seizure of drugs by law enforcers fell significantly when the Covid-19 pandemic made its first appearance in the country, indicating an improvement in drug-related crimes.
But after four months into the crisis, crimes related to drugs as well as other crimes have spiked once again.
Many people lost their jobs because of the pandemic, which is one of the reasons why more people are getting involved in trading and carrying drugs, said a police official.
According to the Police Headquarters, around 8 lakh pieces of yaba have been recovered in last two weeks.
Statistics show all units of police have recovered 4.66 lakh pieces of yaba during the anti-drug operation from 19 to 25 July, and more than 3 lakh pieces of yaba in the previous week.
Analysing the statistics, it is found that around 163,813 more pieces of yaba were recovered last week than that in the previous week.
According to the Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP), 465 narcotics cases were lodged in 50 police stations in June alone, while 281 cases were lodged in the previous two months.
Sources said in the last two weeks 3,618 narcotics cases were lodged across the country – 258 cases were lodged per day on an average.
During the same period, law enforcement agencies arrested 5,238 people in narcotics cases – 374 people arrested for drug related crimes every day on an average.
Sohel Rana, assistant inspector general of police, told The Business Standard, "Both recovery of drug and arrests in this regard have increased recently. The inspector general of police said there would be either police or drug in the country."
Mahbubur Rahman, assistant deputy commissioner of Detective Branch of DMP, told The Business Standard that the drug traders have been using new techniques to smuggle narcotics during the pandemic.
He said carrying drugs in ambulances has increased recently as law enforcers rarely search ambulances thinking that those may carry critical coronavirus patients.
On April 7, the Detective Branch seized 20,000 pieces yaba tablets from an ambulance, which was carrying a corpse in Chattogram.
Aside from exploiting the crisis in such a way, smugglers are also using vehicles used for carrying goods and emergency services.
Experts say if drugs dealing is to be stopped, the demand side has to be addressed first. Drugs cannot be stopped through recovery, arrest and so-called 'gunfights'.