Haj pilgrims caught with huge cache of Viagra

Dhaka (Bangladesh): Customs officials at the Zia International Airport have seized large quantities of Viagra, other banned drugs, pornographic material and precious stones that Haj pilgrims were trying to smuggle out of the country.

Reports of seizures and arrests have come even as authorities are struggling to send the pilgrims on the journey to Saudi Arabia amidst chaos caused by disruption of flight schedules of the ailing national carrier Bangladesh Biman International.

Long delays have led to angry demonstrations by the pilgrims, media reports said.

A joint task force of customs and the Bangladesh Air Force seized over 5,000 Viagra and Munish pills, prescription drugs used for treating male impotence, from the luggage of a Haj pilgrim on Nov 22. More than 6,000 precious stones were seized Tuesday from the luggage of another pilgrim, the Daily Star reported Wednesday.

In two separate drives Tuesday, the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) seized illegal drugs worth about $320,000 and 50,000 CDs with pornographic movies.

Humayun Kabir, additional commissioner of customs at the international airport, said during luggage scanning the joint task force discovered large quantities of banned pharmaceutical drugs and 47 cans of zarda (chewing tobacco) inside the luggage of a man called Shahdur Rahman at a camp where pilgrims are housed before making the journey.

Rahman, however, managed to leave for Jeddah. The customs commissioner said he had asked the immigration officials here to arrest him on his return.

Humayun said they found the precious gems while scanning the luggage of another pilgrim, Ali Azam. The luggage had 696 rings studded with precious stones and 5,968 other gems hidden inside.

During interrogation, Azam confessed to smuggling out gems while in the guise of a pilgrim for the last four years.

Source: ibnlive.com

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