Dhaka: A senior Bangladesh army officer
has been jailed and sacked for carrying hundreds of bottles of
illegal cough syrup -- a popular drug in the south Asian
country, an official said on Wednesday.
Major Reza Shah Mohammad Zillullah was arrested in a
northern district by police in July with 780 bottles of the
syrup, which is locally called Phensidyl, and was tried by a
military court, an army spokesman said.
"He was court martialed and was found guilty. He has
been sacked and sentenced to one year in jail," the spokesman
Drug addiction, particularly to Phensidyl, which
contains the painkiller codeine, is on the rise in Bangladesh,
spawning a lucrative cross-border smuggling trade.
Made in India, Phensidyl was first introduced to
Bangladesh in 1980s and fast became popular among the youths
in the country, where alcohol is generally illegal.
Successive governments have tried to curb Phensidyl
smuggling and urged Indian authorities to tackle scores of
illegal syrup makers who set up factories across the border to
meet demand in Bangladesh.