South Asia

Bangladesh police arrest 'cough syrup smuggler'

Police in northern Bangladesh have arrested an army major for allegedly carrying hundreds of bottles of a cough syrup which is illegal there.

Millions of drug addicts use Phensedyl, which contains codeine and is said to relax the nerves.

It is also used as an alternative to alcohol, which is forbidden to the mainly Muslim population.

If abused, Phensedyl can damage the liver and central nervous system, and may kill in the long run.

But thousands of bottles are smuggled across the border from India where it is legal and can be bought over the counter.

The syrup sells for around $2 (£1.3) a bottle across the border but the price goes up six- or seven-fold once it reaches Bangladeshi territory.

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