RAB arrests five members of int’l drug smuggling syndicate

Published: January 29, 2019 17:28:51 | Updated: February 06, 2019 17:47:51

Screen grab of video by Daily Mirror, Sri Lanka shows detectives in the Mount Lavinia safe-house

The Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) arrested five members of an international drug smuggling syndicate from the city's Kaula area on Monday.

The arrestees were identified as Fatema Imam Tania, 26, Afsana Mini, 23, Salma Sultana, 26, Sheikh Mohammad Badhon alias Parvez, 28 and Ruhul Amin alias Saimon, 29.

Contraband yaba pills, foreign currencies and passports were seized from their possession as well, reports UNB.

RAB Legal and Media Wing Director Mufti Mahmud Khan made the disclosure at a press briefing at RAB Media Centre on Tuesday. He said the gang operated in multiple countries.

Mahmud said Sri Lankan authorities arrested two Bangladeshis - Jamal Uddin and Rafiul Ilsam - in December 2018 with 272 kilograms of heroin and 5kg cocaine from Colombo.

Several days later, Suryamoni, another Bangladeshi, was arrested with 32kg heroin.

A taskforce was formed in Bangladesh to investigate the arrests of Bangladeshis with drugs, Mahmud said.

The taskforce arrested suspected drug dealer Choice Rahman on January 12. A case was later filed at Uttara West Police Station.

After investigation, five members of the international drug gang were arrested in Dhaka. The arrestees said one Arif Uddin was their leader in Bangladesh, Mahmud said.

Arif owns Al-Amin Buying House and has at least 15 to 20 people in drug trade syndicate, according to RAB.

Quoting arrestees, Mahmud said Arif himself recruited potential members for the syndicate. Rehana and Saimon also helped him with recruitments.

At first, they would involve the new recruits with official businesses but after a few days, some employees were picked for collecting and selling drugs in the country, he said.

When the employees became well acquainted with the business, they would be sent abroad to supply drugs.

This syndicate has networks in Afghanistan, Pakistan, China, Malaysia and Sri Lanka, RAB said.

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