Bangladesh homicides highlight drug epidemic

Teenage girl accused of murdering parents was addicted to increasingly popular methamphetamine tablets.

An alleged double-homicide by a 17-year-old-girl in Bangladesh last month has shed new light on the nation’s widespread drug problem.

Youth make up the majority of the country’s estimated five million drug addicts. And in a place where there isn’t much public awareness of the problem, finding help poses a major challenge.

The teenager, now in custody, is accused of working with a friend to stab her parents to death in their sleep. Police say she was angry with them for not allowing her to leave the house because of her drug problem. Her father served as a special branch police inspector.

The girl was addicted to yaba, a tablet made of methamphetamine and caffeine, imported from neighbouring Myanmar. Yaba has become popular among young people in the country, serving as a powerful stimulant.

The teenager has not yet publicly admitted to the allegations against her. Police have also detained her friend suspected of involvement in the crime, as well as the maid who worked in the house.

The education ministry has reportedly called on private universities to install CCTV cameras on their campuses in an attempt to monitor drug abuse amongst students.

And the government is trying to crack down on illegal drugs being smuggled into the country. But trying to tackle the underground drug epidemic is proving to be a massive undertaking.