Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at National Parliament. File photo
Dhaka, June 20 (UNB) - Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday said the government is formulating an anti-narcotics law where there will be a provision of death penalty for the patrons of drug traders, drug syndicates and godfathers.
“There’ll be a proposal in the law to award death penalty to the patrons of drug trading, drug-syndicates and god-fathers,” she said.
The Prime Minister said this while replying to a tabled question of independent MP M Rustam Ali Fazari in Parliament during the PM’s question-answer session.
In the present law, she said, there is a provision of death penalty as the maximum punishment for drug criminals. But, there is a less scope to take punitive actions against those from whose possessions the drugs are not recovered. “So, the masterminds of this drug business escape easily,” she said.
She mentioned that the government is formulating a law, titled ‘Narcotics Control Act, 2018’, aiming to take strong punitive measures against the patrons of drug trading, drug syndicates and godfathers.
Under this new law, Hasina said, the officials of Narcotics Department will get the power to investigate money-laundering crimes to bring the patrons of drug traders or trading organisations under the purview of this law.
She also said the government has a plan to form a separate court to run the proceedings of crimes under the Narcotics Control Act, 1990. The Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Ministry is looking into the matter.
The Prime Minister said the government always maintains a tough stance against drugs and drugs-related criminals. The law enforcement agencies have taken strong steps against drug smugglers, drug traders, drug addicts and drug smuggling syndicates to put up a strong resistance against the aggression of drugs in society.
“Apart from the regular ones, special drives are being conducted against drug-related criminals,” she said.
Since May 18, 2018, huge drugs, arms and ammunition, and vehicles used to transport these have been recovered and seized during the anti-drug drive, the PM told the House.
“So far, 15,333 drug-related cases have been registered in which 20,767 accused persons have been arrested and placed before court,” she said.
Replying to another question from Awami League MP Mostafizur Rahman Chowdhury, the Prime Minister expressed her high optimism that the government would be able to stop drug smuggling with the ongoing drive against drugs and their abuse and thus protect the youth from social degradation.
She said the government has adopted ‘zero tolerance’ policy against drugs and for that Narcotics Control Department, Police, BGB, RAB and other law enforcement agencies are working relentlessly.
The leader of the House also said some 106,536 cases were filed against 132,883 drug dealers in 2017.
During the period of January to March, some 35,112 accused were arrested in 27,340 cases, Hasina said.
“The lists of Yaba traders have been updated to conduct regular drives against them,” she said.