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Where have Teknaf’s top drug traders gone?

  • Published at 03:53 pm May 28th, 2018
  • Last updated at 04:05 pm May 28th, 2018
Yaba Traders-Teknaf
Clockwise: Abdur Sukkur, Mong Mong AKA Momsie, Haji Saiful Karim, Md Nurul Huda and Mujibur Rahman - all of them are enlisted as yaba traders by the Home Ministry Collected

Police are becoming desperate to catch the Home Ministry enlisted drug dealers in Teknaf

The "war on drugs" initiated by the law enforcers under the prime minister's own direction is still underway. Enlisted top drug dealers are being killed in various “gunfights"with the police and Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) across the country.

Recently, police recovered the bodies of four top drug dealers from Cox's Bazar.

Police are becoming desperate to catch the Home Ministry enlisted drug dealers in Teknaf, but the drug dealers seem to skillfully evade capture time after time.

From rags to riches

According to various administration sources, most of the top yaba traders in Cox's Bazar are from the border town of Teknaf.

Some of the Home Ministry enlisted yaba traders are Haji Saiful Karim from Shilbonia of Teknaf Sadar union, Abdur Sukkur from Oliabad of Teknaf municipality, Mong Mong AKA Momsie from Chowdhurypara, Md Ekram Hossain from Moulvipara of Sadar union, Syed Hossain Member from Najirpara, Md Nurul Huda from West Leda of Hinla union, and Mujibur Rahman from Chowdhurypara of Teknaf municipality.

Other than that, the Home Ministry also has lists of people including the family members of current and former parliamentary members, people representatives, political leaders, and corrupt police officers, all of whom became wealthy within a very short time by dealing drugs.

Several sources, seeking anonymity, said the country's top yaba dealers Haji Saiful Karim and Abdur Sukkur fled when they heard of the recent anti-drug drives. Even two weeks earlier, they were freely moving around Teknaf, but now there are no traces of them.

Locals think they might have fled to Malaysia, Dubai, or neighbouring Myanmar. All of the top yaba dealers have thousands of crores worth of plots, flats, and cars to their names in Dhaka, Chattogram, and Cox's Bazar.

But most of these traders come from extremely humble backgrounds. Nurul Huda was a car helper, while Md Ekram used to be a driver. Even five years earlier, they were unemployed, but now they own new models of cars and luxurious buildings in posh areas of the country.

According to locals, Md Ekram also bought huge amounts of agricultural land. Even though there are yaba smuggling cases filed against him, the police has yet to catch him regardless of his free movements inside Teknaf. Official records categorize them as fugitives.

In the list published by the Home Ministry last year, Mong Mong Sen, or Momsie, was placed in third position among the top seven yaba traders in the country. Besides trading yaba, Momsie has been involved with smuggling gold, and other legal-illegal business both on and across the border for years. Now he owns a luxurious house in Chowdhurypara of Teknaf municipality, besides other properties.

Impunity for drug traders?

The affiliated administration has not yet been able to capture these drug traders, but locals allege the latter walk around freely inside their own areas without fear of capture. Officials records show them as fugitives, but they live openly.

Only after the prime minister's own declaration against drugs has the administration started to show any signs of attempting to catch them. However, the traders have gone into hiding.

When asked about the issue, Officer In-Charge of Teknaf police station Ranjit Kumar Barua said: "It is not true that yaba traders move freely inside Teknaf. In reality, they have not been in Teknaf for a long time.

"Even if they enter Teknaf for a day, they will be caught," said Ranjit. "The police is always on the alert for catching all smugglers and drug traders."

Company commander of RAB Cox's Bazar Maj Md Ruhul Amin said: "The yaba traders have sought anonymity by using various guises like a politician's or a businessman's. But our mission to catch all those practicing illegal traders will be successful, as our forces are trying their best."

Additional Superintendent of Police in Cox's Bazar Md Afruzul Haq said: "Police are conducting anti-drug drives every day. We have already tried detaining the top yaba traders in Teknaf several times. However, they eluded capture every time. But soon, they will be brought to justice."

Meanwhile, after getting news of the recent anti-narcotics drive that started in early May, even medium-level drug dealers have fled. Some of them sought refuge in nearby hilly areas, while others went to the sea. Others are in hiding by concealing their identities in Dhaka and Chattogram.