Cocaine trafficking: Peruvian national jailed for life, Pakistani gets 10 years in prison

The Department of Narcotics Control arrested the Peruvian national with three kilograms of cocaine from a Dhaka hotel in 2011

Published : 7 Feb 2024, 11:25 AM
Updated : 7 Feb 2024, 11:25 AM

A Dhaka court has sentenced a Peruvian and a Pakistani man to prison on charges of trafficking three kilograms of cocaine seized at a hotel in Dhaka’s Karwan Bazar more than a decade ago.

Juan Pablo Rafael Zagaceta of the South American nation will be in prison for life, while Mostafa Ashraf, who is fleeing from justice, will have to serve 10 years.

Dhaka’s Third Additional Metropolitan Sessions Judge Sheikh Samidul Islam delivered the verdict on Wednesday.

Rafael was penalised Tk 50,000 and will spend three more months if he fails to pay up.

Five other Bangladeshi suspects named in the case were acquitted of the charges.

They are Md Mostofa, Shamsul Haque, Halima Khan Sadia, Sabrina Nasrin Tania and Md Ashraf Nasim, state counsel Salauddin Hawlader said.

Rafael was taken to court and sent back to jail after the verdict was announced. Ashraf had jumped bail.

All the acquitted suspects, except Tania, are at large. Tania attended the hearing in the court.

In June 2011, officials from the Department of Narcotics Control, DNC, apprehended Rafael and recovered three kilograms of cocaine from his bag during a raid at a hotel room in the capital’s Karwan Bazar, according to the case dossiers.

DNC Inspector Mofazzal Hossain initiated the case as a plaintiff over the incident. The department’s inspector Obaidul Karim pressed charges against the accused persons after an investigation in 2013.

The court indicted the suspects and opened a trial against them in 2015. Around 15 witnesses out of 25 testified during the trial.

Both Rafael and Ashraf admitted to their involvement in the crime during interrogations.

Rafael had said at the time that he was a lorry driver and Ashraful said he had a business named ‘Cross Ocean’ in Bangladesh.