Steps were taken after several people were arrested and a huge number of cough syrup bottles were seized in the last few months.
According to investigating agencies, the drug is in high demand in India and Bangladesh despite it was being banned in both the neighbouring countries. The reason behind the demand of cough syrup is its high Codeine content and it attracts the addicts. As a result the cost of the syrup goes abnormally high in the underground market. The addicts are always ready to pay anything to buy a bottle of the banned drug.
After some people were arrested, the investigating officers have revealed that several others were involved in the racket and mainly youth get involved in it to make quick money. NCB officials also keep a tab on the functioning of the medicine and drug shops in the bordering areas as they have received a tip-off that some owners of those medicine shops are also involved in the racket.
Besides increasing vigil in the bordering areas, probe has been initiated to reach to the root of the racket by identifying the places where the banned cough syrup factories are located. Sources said the investigating officers have got information about the places in the bordering areas where the members of the racket store cough syrup bottles before smuggling to Bangladesh. But the accused keep changing their destination almost every week.
It may be mentioned that a Bangladeshi national Sujan Ali was arrested by the BSF at Hili in South Dinajpur on April 24. Some more youth were arrested from Siliguri and it had come as a major breakthrough for the NCB.
On April 18, NCB had seized 65,000 bottles of Phensedyl cough syrup worth Rs 4 crore from an abandoned residential quarter at Chitpur Railway Colony. Two persons — Shankar Saha and his wife Maya Saha — were arrested in this connection before they had managed to smuggle the phensedyl bottles to Bangladesh via Bongaon and Tripura.