They confessed, yet not charged

Court asks narcotics dept to probe yaba haul case again

A Dhaka court has found flaws in the charge sheet submitted by the Department of Narcotics Control in a case filed over the recovery of around 39,000 yaba pills from Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in 2020.

Dhaka Metropolitan Magistrate Tamanna Farah yesterday ordered the director general of the DNC to initiate further investigation into the case by an official not below the rank of deputy director. The magistrate added that the investigator of the case did not conduct the probe properly.

Investigation Officer Masudur Rahman dropped the names of eight accused, who confessed to smuggling yaba pills, from the charge sheet submitted to the court on August 8 this year, the magistrate said in her order.

"There is no scope to drop names of people who have given confessional statements before magistrates about their involvement in the incident," said the magistrate's order.

Masudur Rahman, an inspector of the DNC, pressed charges against six people in the case.

Before submitting the charge sheet, Masudur Rahman took opinions from a Dhaka Metropolitan public prosecutor.

Masudur told The Daily Star, "I dropped the names of the eight accused from the charge sheet based on the opinions of the PP.

"During the investigation, I did not find their involvement in the case even though they confessed to the magistrates," the investigator said.

The Daily Star could not reach the PP for comment as his phone was switched off.

The investigator was also asked by the court on August 8 why he dropped the names of the eight.

The investigator yesterday submitted a written explanation before the court, said a general recording official of the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate's Court of Dhaka.

On October 16, 2020, DNC recovered 38,887 yaba pills at the airport in the capital and arrested Abu Shamim and Firoz Ahmed in connection with the recovery.

Later, a case was filed under the Narcotics Control Act with Airport Police Station.

DNC also arrested 10 more people for their alleged involvement in smuggling the yaba pills.

All 12 accused, now on bail, made confessional statements before magistrates on different dates.

Among the accused, Hasmat Ali Prince and Rafiqul Islam, a Saudi expatriate, were also shown as fugitives in the charge sheet.

On April 24, Younus Miah Prokash Liton, the mastermind behind the yaba smuggling, was arrested in the capital's Kadamtoli.

Md Asadullah, another accused, told the court that Liton and Prince kept those yaba in three cartons to send to Saudi Arabia where expatriate Rafiqul Islam will receive those, said the case documents.

Moreover, Liton confessed to the magistrate that he along with Prince, Rafiq and Md Sharif were smuggling yaba for a long time.


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