Kolkata: At least six people including a doctor have been arrested for allegedly trying to smuggle Codeine Based Cough Syrup (CBCS) across the Indo-Bangladesh border. The drug, also known by the nickname ‘Lean’ and ‘Sizzurp’ in narcotics circles, has been caught along with 2,245 CBCS of Dialex DC bottles which they claimed had been stored for smuggling across the barbed wire fence on the border between these countries.
Acting on a tip-off, investigators of the NCB Kolkata Zone 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, an NCB official said. ‘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 added.
The official said that the doctor had allocated the godown owned by him to store the CBCS while the medical representative had been coordinating the entire process, adding that the godown was an unlicensed one. ‘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.
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. Dhaka had earlier this year sought help from India to check 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.