Citizens' Issues
Why smugglers across India-Bangladesh border prefer cough syrup
The Sundarbans : It's perhaps the law of unintended consequences. The Indian government had earlier this month banned the cough syrup Phensedyl, among a host of drugs. But the Delhi High Court on March 16 granted an interim injunction to drugmaker Abbott against the government action.
 
The pro and con of banning a drug would be taken up by the court. But in this part of the world, the border guards were heaving a sigh of relief that they would have to cope with one less headache -- a premature sigh, it would now seem.
 
Because Phensedyl is smuggled across to Bangladesh for its addictive quality.
 
The codeine-laced cough syrup is consumed there in large quantities, against the recommended small doses, to get a kick.
 
With the consumption of alcohol prohibited in the Islamic state, Phensedyl addiction has been on the rise. Dhaka had urged New Delhi to ban the drug that is manufactured in India.
 
With a bottle (100ml/Rs.97 equivalent to $1.5) fetching nearly 10 times its Indian market price in Bangladesh, Phensedyl smuggling has been a lucrative industry involving a number of gangs operating across the over 4,000 km Indo-Bangladesh frontier.
 
West Bengal, which shares over 2,200 km of the border with the neighbour, has been a major area of operation for the illicit trade.
 
Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) South West Region Commander Khondoker Farid Hassan said a ban on the drug in India would play a large role in improving bilateral relations between the two countries and their border guards.
 
"Already banned in Bangladesh, the call for banning it by India has been there for some time. We are very happy that it has now materialised. It's a very welcome move by India," Hassan had told IANS before the court order came.
 
At the joint exercise between the Border Security Force (BSF) and the BGB at the Sundarbans, Hassan had hoped that the smuggling of the drug would come down drastically.
 
Hassan, along with BSF Inspector General Sandeep Salunke, recently supervised the "Sundarbans Maitri" three-day drill on board the Kamakhya floating border outpost at the "T - Junction" riverine area of Sundarbans where the forces jointly conducted search operation on cargo vessels on their way to Bangladesh on the Ichhamati river.
 
According to the Bangladesh Department of Narcotics Control (DNC), Chittagong, Dhaka, Khulna and Rajshahi are widely affected by Phensedyl addiction, with Rajshahi being the major market for the drug's clandestine trade.
 
According to surveys by rights activists and organisations, over two million of the 166,280,712 Bangladeshi population is addicted to drugs, mostly Phensedyl.
 
Considered a serious offence in Bangladesh, Phensedyl peddling is punishable with life imprisonment.
 
As per the latest report by the DNC, over 700 litres of Phensedyl was seized across Bangladesh between 2010 and 2015, with 384 litres being seized in 2015 alone.
 
In the last three years, the BSF had seized nearly 700,000 bottles of Phensedyl worth about Rs.7 crore. Not only is Phensedyl smuggled across the border, several units had come up in South Bengal to illegaly manufacture the spurious syrup.
 
The BSF had destroyed several such units near the South Bengal frontier.
 
BSF's Salunke said that to attract the provisions of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, the seizure had to be a minimum of 10,000 Phensedyl bottles.
 
The ban would of course have helped.
 
But now the two forces across the international border would be watching with interest the legal battle unfolding in the courts.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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COMMENTS

Ramesh Poapt

8 months ago

excellent! some people even consume white eraser solution which comes with thinner bottle,addictive thinner is used! and some other cough syrups where codeine/alchohal content is >10%

Mallya offers to pay Rs4,000 crore to banks by September
Mallya and Kingfisher have offered to pay Rs4,000 crore by September 2016 against the outstanding loan of Rs9,000 crore
 
Beleaguered liquor baron Vijay Mallya and his Kingfisher Airlines has offered to pay Rs4,000 crore out of their dues of around Rs9,000 crore to banks by September this year. According to reports, both Kingfisher and Mallya has given this proposal in sealed cover in the Supreme Court.
 
The apex court has asked banks to respond to Mallya's proposal within a week. 
 
The consortium of 17 banks led by the State Bank of India had approached the Supreme Court seeking an order restraining Mallya from leaving the country, his arrest and impounding of his passport. Banks have challenged the 4th March order of the Karnataka High Court not accepting their plea. 
 
Earlier this month, the apex court bench of Justice Kurian Joseph and Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman issued notice as Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi told the court that Mallya left the country soon after they moved applications on 2nd March before Bengaluru-based Debt Recovery Tribunal (DRT) to restrain Diageo from paying him $75 million.
 
 Addressing the court, Rohatgi said that the secured assets which Mallya has pledged are not even 1/15th of more than Rs9,000 crore which he had taken for his now defunct Kingfisher Airlines.
 
When the court asked, how the banks could advance such a huge loan without matching securities, Rohatgi told the court that they were given against the brand and logo of Kingfisher Airlines which at that point of time was huge but now has collapsed.

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Google offers landline telephone service in US cities
Washington : Google, the technology giant born out of the internet age, rolled out a landline telephone service on Tuesday in some US cities.
 
The service, known as Fiber Phone, offers basic landline features including call waiting, caller identification, unlimited local and nationwide calling and 911 services at a price of $10 per month, Xinhua reported.
 
As part of the company's Google Fiber operation, it works with phone, tablet and laptop computer and brings subscribers new features such as transcribing voice mails and delivering them as text messages or email.
 
In direct completion against local telecommunications carriers and internet service providers, or ISPs, the cloud-based service is currently available in three US cities where Google Fiber is deployed, namely Austin, Kansas City and Provo, and is expected to expand to Salt Lake City, Nashville, Atlanta, Charlotte and Raleigh-Durham.
 
Two more cities, Louisville and Huntsville, are listed as candidates.
 
The landline service comes along with Google Fiber's ultra-fast internet access.
 
With cloud, wrote Google Fiber product manager John Shriver-Blake in a blog post, "it can ring your landline when you' re home, or your mobile device when you're on-the-go".
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

 

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