Insidious rise of phensedyl as yaba takes a backseat

Nuruzzaman Labu
Published : 07:30, Sep 12, 2019 | Updated : 09:44, Sep 12, 2019

While law enforcers across the country are focusing on yaba, the smuggling of phensedyl has also seen a rise in the country. Law enforcers say that import of phensedyl has increased and the price of codeine based syrup has soared in recent times.
Reportedly, phensedyl is being sold at known drug spots across the capital between Tk 1,400 and Tk 2,000.
Law enforcers have said that new phensedyl-making factories have sprung up near the India border.
At a meeting of the Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB), it was told that phensedyl is entering the country through the borders of 19 districts.
Though phensedyl addiction saw a decline with the rising popularity of yaba, in recent times, the smuggling of phensedyl has seen a hike of 25.57 percent. Between Apr 1 and Sept 30 this year, nearly 163,000 bottles of phensedyl were siezed. While from October 2018 to March 2019, the number is well over 204,000.
Additional Director of Narcotics Control Department Mosaddek Hossain Reza, said: “We are seizing phensedyl regularly and feel that its popularity has seen a surge.”
The border touching 19 districts through which phensedyl is entering are: Satkhira, Jashore, Jhenaidah, Chuadanga, Kushtia, Rajshahi, Chapainawabganj, Joyurhat, Dinajpur, Lalmonirhat, Kurigram, Jamalpur, Mymensingh, Sunamganj, Sylhet, Moulvibazar, Brahmanbaria, Cumilla and Feni.
Rajshahi official of Narcotics Control Department Jafrulla Kajal, said: “It appears that the factories across the border which were closed for some time have opened once more.”
An arrested drug dealer says: “The demand for phensedyl is high in almost all areas of the capital.”
Additional police commissioner, Shaahdat Hossain Suma adds: “At the border, each bottle is sold for Tk 300 which is then sold by dealers in the capital for Tk 1,500.”
A phensedyll trader says that to send shipments of drugs to Dhaka, bribes need to be paid to police and political leaders and special ‘tokens’ are given to vehicles carrying the drug to pass check-posts with impunity.