In an anti-narcotic drive the customs department in Agartala destroyed large number of bottles of Bangladesh-bound smuggled cough syrup and huge quantities of marijuana, worth Rs 2.65 crores.
Krishna Kumar Patel, a disposal committee member said, “Most of these are cough syrup bottles – Phensedyl, Corex, Escuff and also marijuana that goes to other states, however, the cough syrups which have no use in the state goes to Bangladesh. We have seizures them during 2016 and 2017 and as per the court order we are destroying them today.”
The officer added: “There is around 350 kg of marijuana and all total 2.5 lakh cough syrup bottles. The high level dispose committee has arrived here including the Chairman who came from Guwahati. The total worth of the consignment is around rupees two crore sixty five lakh.”
Under tight security the bottles were brought in trucks to the dumping ground at Hapani, a bordering village on the outskirt of capital Agartala where land-roller and bull-dozers were used to destroy the bottles while the marijuana was burned down. Though the cost of caught consignment is around Rs 2.65 crores; it increases up to four times after reaching Bangladesh where it is banned and used as a substitute for liquor.
The smuggling of narcotic mainly in the form of Phensedyl has been one of the main agenda in the Indo-Bangladesh talks at different levels. The Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) has been alleging BSF of intentionally overlooking the smuggling of Phensedyl to Bangladesh where mainly the youths are consuming it as substitute to liquor. However, BSF claims that it has been time and again catching Phensedyl smugglers and the fresh haul has proved it again. But due to the long porous border between the two nations it is not always possible to stop the smugglers, for whom Phensedyl is a very lucrative item. Smuggling and infiltration along the 4,100 kilometers porous border with Bangladesh is rampant despite fencing at many places.