Smugglers use women to carry illegal Indian drugs
Over a thousand poor women are engaged in carrying smuggled Indian drugs through 22 border routes in five upazilas under the district as around 100 gangs of a drug syndicate hire the women, often making them wear veils, in a bid to dodge law enforcers.
The drug smuggling cartels coax these hard-pressed women to get involved in the act by giving some money to them as well as their male family members, said Mohor Ali, 55, a NGO worker in Mogholhat border area under Lalmonirhat Sadar upazila.
Thirty-five women drug transporters were held with Indian phensidyl and hemp in Lalmonirhat Sadar, Patgram and Hatibandha upazilas in last six months, said officials of the Department of Narcotics Control (DNC) in Lalmonirhat.
Tahmina Begum, 46, of Mogholhat village in Lalmonirhat Sadar upazila, confessed to DNC officials that she was hired for Tk 2,000 for transporting 40 bottles of phensidyl from Mogholhat border to Rangpur city a few days ago.
"Like me, many poor women in the border area are working as transporters of contraband drug just to make some contribution to the ultra poor families,” she added.
“We only transport the drugs, we don't own or sell them. I do this twice a week and get Tk 2,000 for transporting 40 to 50 bottles of phensidyl or 10 kg of hemp from Mogholhat border to Rangpur city,” said Dulali Begum of the same village.
“Women living in border areas are hired to transport drugs as law enforcers do not suspect us. We can easily carry the items by train or bus. Around 10 drug gangs are active in Mogholhat border for smuggling illegal items like phensidyl, hemp and wine from India," she told DNC officials.
Ataur Rahman, sub-inspector of DNC in Lalmonirhat, said, "For transporting smuggled Indian drugs, the hired poor women wear veil. DNC officials are keeping strong vigilance on veil-wearing women in border areas. At least 100 gangs are active along the border areas of Lalmonirhat district to smuggle Indian drugs."