Dhaka, Oct 10 (UNB) - Bangladesh and India on Thursday agreed to hold a tripartite meeting with Myanmar to discuss ways to deal with illegal drugs, which enter Bangladesh through India from Myanmar.
The decision was taken at the 6th director general-level meeting between the two nodal agencies on narcotics control between Bangladesh and India held at a city hotel on Thursday.
DG of the Department of Narcotics Control (DNC) Md Jamal Uddin Ahmed led a 21-member Bangladesh delegation while DG of Indian Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) Rakesh Asthana led an 11-member Indian team in the talks.
Briefing reporters after the meeting, Jamal said the Indian side proposed that Bangladesh hold the trilateral meeting with Myanmar.
In response, Bangladesh urged the Indian side to talk to Myanmar to arrange such a trilateral meeting to discuss the issues, he said, adding that if necessary, Bangladesh will host the meeting.
“We have Saarc and Myanmar has Asean. As there’s a need for a bridge between the two regional organisations, there should be a bridge between Myanmar and its close neighbours Bangladesh and India,” the DNC director general said.
Drugs are entering Bangladesh through India from Myanmar which also affects India, he said. “Better decisions could be taken if we, the three neigbouring countries, sit in a meeting to discuss the elimination of drug smuggling.”
Replying to a query about exchanging list of drug traffickers from both the countries at the meeting, NCB director general Rakesh Asthana said they exchanged not only specific details of controlling drug traffickers but also controlling the routes as well as modus operandi.
About the smuggling of Phensidyl syrup to Bangladesh from India, he said the codeine-based cough syrup is being produced in India under the licence of Indian Drug Control Bureau. “If it’s diverted to Bangladesh, action is taken not only against the company, which produces it but also those who divert it (cough syrup) to Bangladesh for misuse,” he added.
The meeting discussed the sharing of real-time intelligence/information and its status, exchange of drug trafficking routes, updates on control measures on drugs like synthetic opioids, other synthetic drugs, exploring feasibility of controlled delivery operations, exchanges of information about Indians arrested in Bangladesh and Bangladeshis arrested in India in drug crimes since the last DG-level talks, exchange of information on financial investigation linked to narcotics and stopping illicit cultivation of poppy and cannabis along the border, DNC chief Jamal said.
Meanwhile, a joint declaration was signed by both the heads of delegations after elaborately discussing the agenda and the both sides reached a consensus to work together in controlling illegal drugs.