The move is a major development after the law enforcement agencies launched an all-out anti-drug crusade in May last year
A group of yaba traders in Cox's Bazar are set to surrender to the government soon, local authorities have confirmed.
The move is a major development after the law enforcement agencies launched an all-out anti-drug crusade in May last year.
The band of smugglers are in contact with the government authorities, and the surrender will take place soon, Cox's Bazar Superintendent of Police (SP) ABM Masud Hossain told the Dhaka Tribune.
Those willing to surrender voluntarily are already on the list of drug peddlers drafted by the government with input from different intelligence and law enforcement agencies.
Sources in Cox's Bazar said many drug dealers seem to prefer staying in jail for their own safety for the fear of getting killed in the upcoming drugs crackdown by law enforcement agencies.
Over a hundred smugglers have already contacted police and expressed their desire to surrender voluntarily, they confirmed.
Channel 24 journalist Akram Hossain, who is assisting law enforcement agencies to ensure their surrender, said he went to the Cox's Bazar prison a few days after a gang of pirates surrendered in Moheshkhali on October 20.
"When I went to visit the the pirates in jail, they said many drug peddlers also want to surrender to police. I conveyed the message to the authorities here," he added.
“Upon receiving approval from the high authorities, I spoke with the yaba traders, and over a hundred of them expressed their willingness to surrender. The negotiation process is underway,” Akram said.
Recently, Teknaf Sadar Upazila Parishad member Enamul Haque surrendered to police by making an announcement on Facebook. Police said he has over a dozen of cases against him.
"We have conveyed the message to the top authorities, who have asked us to negotiate with conditional arrests. No date has been fixed yet," said SP Masud.
The police official further said the peddlers had been in touch with police via different ways, but no exact number can be disclosed as of now.
The development came within a week after former Cox's Bazar 4 lawmaker Abdur Rahman Badi, who is also facing allegations of involvement with yaba trade, asked the yaba traders at Teknaf and Ukhia upazila to surrender within five days.
On January 11, the former MP asked the enlisted drug traders to submit within time, or face terrible consequences.
He also urged them to communicate with him, saying he would help them surrender.
Human rights campaigner Ain O Salish Kendra (ASK) in a latest report revealed that the incidents of extrajudicial killing were alarming, especially after the anti-drug drives began.
A total of 466 people were killed in countrywide anti-drug raids conducted by law enforcement agencies between May 4 and December 31 last year, according to the ASK report.