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Bangladeshis who shipped to Singapore were on drugs

Last Updated: Saturday, April 16, 2011 - 14:21

Dhaka: The two Bangladeshi workers who were shipped to Singapore had slept off after taking marijuana, survivor of the nine-day journey from Chittagong has told the authorities.

"For some time, we forgot that we were in a container," said port worker Din Islam, who was lucky to have survived after being trapped in the container for nine days without food or water.

His colleague Alamgir died after seven days.

The container was on board a ship, Hansa Caledo, which left Chittagong Port on April 02.

While he took the drug occasionally "out of frustration" after his wife and child left him, Din Islam said Alamgir was a habitual smoker of the drug.

"We were smoking ganja, and could not remember where we were. But after sometime realised that the container we entered was locked," Din told his interrogators at the hospital in Singapore, The Daily Star reported on Saturday.

The Singapore authorities are treating this case as one of the accidents and not part of the illegal movement of Bangladeshis who slip into containers or travel by boats to seek jobs in Southeast Asia.

After five days of journey the ship reached Singapore, and the container was left for another four days in Pasir Panjong Container Terminal, with Din Islam and the decomposing body of Alamgir inside.

Workers in that terminal discovered Din Islam and Alamgir`s body on April 10, responding to Din`s banging on the container wall when it was being reloaded onto a trailer for shipment to another Vietnam-bound ship.

Alamgir`s body is now in Singapore General Hospital, while Din Islam, after treatment from Alexandra Hospital, is now under the care of Transient Workers Count Too, a charity for migrants in Singapore.


First Published: Saturday, April 16, 2011 - 14:21
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