Narcos now out to create LSD market
Narcotics smugglers have long been trying to create a market for the hallucinogenic drug called LSD in Bangladesh, targeting college and university students as consumers.
Law enforcers came up with the findings after seizing 200 pieces of LSD blotter paper from Dhaka on Wednesday night.
The Detective Branch of Police, in a special drive in the capital's Dhanmondi and Lalmatia, recovered LSD worth around Tk six lakh and arrested three university students on charge of smuggling the drug into Bangladesh, said AKM Hafiz Akter, additional commissioner (DB) of Dhaka Metropolitan Police.
The arrestees are Sadman Sakib Rupol, 25, and Ashab Wadud Turjo, 22, both students of North South University, and Adib Ashraf, 23, a student of Independent University Bangladesh.
Police claimed they found that LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) was being used in Bangladesh while investigating the death of Dhaka University student Hafizur Rahman.
DB chief Hafiz Akter said it is the first time they have recovered this drug.
In order to sell, the arrestees were targeting mainly the school and college students. They used to sell those through a Facebook group called "Apnar Abba" and the Telegram app, he said.
The arrestees sold each LSD paper blot at Tk 3,000 to 5,000, said the official.
Dulal Krishna Saha, chief chemist and forensic head at the department of narcotics control (DNC), however, said they had earlier seized LSD in September 2019 from the capital's Kafrul area.
A boy had allegedly brought the drug from Canada for consumption, but upon his parents' information, the DNC team had arrested the boy and a case was filed with Kafrul Police Station in this regard.
Dulal said the drug is expensive, highly stimulus and hallucinogenic. People lose control on themselves after taking LSD and it causes lethal and suicidal tendencies, he said.
DNC officials said after the first seizure, they believed it was brought into Bangladesh for individual consumptions and never realised that it might become widespread.
Speaking to The Daily Star yesterday, Muzibur Rahman Patwary, additional director of the DNC, said, "We have so far come to know that a narcotic smuggling syndicate is trying to create a market for LSD in Bangladesh.
"We have already sent a red alert to all our offices across the country to remain vigilant and take action immediate action whenever any information regarding LSD is found."
This newspaper managed to talk to an LSD user, who witnessed one of their friends suffering from depression commit suicide after consuming LSD.
"We would take the drug in groups. One group member would not take the drug and be in charge of the others in case anyone went out of control," said the user.
"One day, a friend who had been suffering from depression took the drug with all of us. Before we could do anything, he suddenly screamed, ran and jumped out the window, ultimately taking his own life."
SMUGGLED FROM THE NETHERLANDS
DB chief Hafiz Akter said that during primary investigation, they have come to know that the arrestee Rupol was involved with the business for the past one year, and Turjo and Ashraf for last couple of months.
The arrestees used to receive the drug from an unknown person they called "Team" through postal service from the Netherlands, he said.
"The young boys communicated with the supplier in the Netherlands through Telegram, a cloud-based instant messaging app, and used to send money through paypal. They used to buy each of the blot at Tk 800-1,000 from the Netherlands."
Asked about increasing vigilance on postal service to stop narcotics smuggling, the DB chief said they would definitely propose it to the higher authorities as it needs multilevel engagement.
He further said they would seek assistance from Interpol to take action at the source of the drug export.
The DMP also go information of other groups selling LSD in the country through a social media group.
"We have collected details of the members who founded the social media group. We are also collecting information about the users," he said.
DU BEEFED-UP SECURITY
DU authorities have beefed up security measures following DU student Hafizur's death on DU campus on May 15.
He had slit his own throat after taking LSD.
Speaking to The Daily Star yesterday, Prof AKM Golam Rabbani, DU proctor, said, "The main areas where drugs are sold are Suhrawardy Udyan, Shaheed Minar, and Curzon Hall. We have already instructed police to carry out strict operations to stop the sale of narcotics… We are working to uproot the drug syndicate. Several student organisation leaders are involved with the syndicates."
Hafizur Rahman came to the campus from Brahmanbaria the day after Eid. That night, Hafizur took drugs with his friends at Curzon Hall.
A few hours later, police found him with his throat slit in the Shaheed Minar area and sent him to Dhaka Medical College Hospital.
Citing information provided by his friends during interrogation, DB officials said Hafizur had misbehaved with a disabled rickshaw-puller that evening. After his friends told him what he did was wrong, he ran out to the Curzon Hall field, despite his friends' attempt to stop him, to beg the rickshaw-puller for forgiveness.
At one point, Hafizur grabbed a sharp weapon from a coconut-seller nearby and slit his own throat.