Police: Jamaat funded by border drug smugglingJanuary 27, 2014
Jamaat-e-Islami operatives posing as mango and tomato exporters in eastern Bangladesh are actually smuggling drugs, hemp, prescription cough syrup (which is also drunk for intoxication), and people across the border with India, according to local police.
The Islamist Jamaat party and its student Shibir wing have been attacking the government and moderate elements in Bangladesh for years, and Jamaat is trying to put a stop to Bangladesh’s ongoing efforts to bring Islamist war criminals to justice for atrocities they committed in the 1970s.
Jamaat receives significant sponsorship from Pakistani and Saudi sources, Western and Gulf-based Muslim charities, and sharia finance institutions, but regional smuggling profits are needed as well to maintain Jamaat’s wide-scale operations.
An excerpt from a report by the Dhaka Tribune follows, with thanks to Shah Ali Farhad for sending this over:
…What was most surprising to this correspondent was that Jamaat Leader Modasser Ali and Secetary General of the upazila and Kibria Jamaat Unit Golam Azam operate a smuggling racket in the area, according to police and locals under anonymity. They smuggle Phensedyle, hemp and others Indian items into the country, they said.
Regarding the funding of Jamaat-Shibir, Abdur Razzak said members of the Islamist outfit mainly collect money from drug smuggling to run their political activities in the area.
However, upon inquiry Modasser said he used to operate a mobile cell phone shop at Shibganj Bazar and that he brought best quality items from India during that time.
“I have a trade license. The ruling party men vandalised my shop and since then it has remained closed,” he said.
Over the course of the conversation, Modasser repeatedly denied being involved in smuggling.
However, people in the area said Modasser providede funding for Jamaat-Shibir to operate their political activities.
In contrast, Modasser said he did not need to finance anybody.
“People love me and they follow my instruction,” he added.
Similar replies came from Jamaat Leader Azam, who said they mainly cultivated mango and tomatoes, leaving no time to smuggle things into the country.
AKM Mizanur Rahman, officer-in-charge of Shibganj police station, said that smuggling was not a new trend in the area.
“We are working on it and a number of illegal shipments have already been recovered in the past couple of months.”
Rab-5 Lieutenant Colonel Anwar Latif Khan of Shibganj said members of the elite force are active in the area and that a large quantity of drugs had been seized in recent drives.