At least six persons including a doctor have been arrested for allegedly trying to smuggle Codeine Based Cough Syrup (CBCS) also known by the nickname “Lean” and “Sizzurp” in narcotics circles, across the Indo-Bangladesh border, a senior officer of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), Kolkata Zone, said on Saturday.
Acting on a tip-off, sleuths of the NCB Kolkata Zone sleuths on Thursday night conducted raids in Barrackpore and arrested the six, who are allegedly part of a syndicate involved in smuggling Codeine syrup, much preferred by drug addicts looking for a quick high, across the Indo-Bangladesh border, he said.
The team also seized around 2,245 CBCS of Dialex DC bottles which they claimed had been stored for smuggling across the barbed wire fence which marks the border between the two countries.
“They have been involved in trafficking CBCS from Barrackpore to Nadia in light medium vehicles. First, we apprehended two persons and then after grilling them caught the medical practitioner and a medical representative of Dr. Reddy’s,” he said.
The doctor had provided his godown to store the CBCS while the medical representative had been coordinating the entire process, he said. The godown was an unlicensed one, the official added.
Probe revealed that the contraband was supplied by “Ram Medical Hall” in Barrackpore to a non-existent firm in the city’s Mahisbathan (Dhapa) area, he said.
Dhaka had earlier this year sought India’s help in checking the smuggling of Myanmar origin “Yaba” tablets and Indian-made Codeine based syrups. While the syrup is legally manufactured in India, it is illegally smuggled to feed those prefer this cheap high in neighbouring Bangladesh.
Liquor is not freely available in Bangladesh because of a partial prohibition. Tipplers consequently seek a high through various means. A bottle of Phensedyl, a popular cough remedy in India which costs less than Rs 100 sells for as much as Taka 1,000 in Bangladesh in the illegal market, according to officials monitoring drug trafficking.
Bangladesh Border Guards had at one time sought a ban on such medicines being imposed by India. However, as these are popular medical remedies in the country a blanket ban has not been possible.