Locals, wishing anonymity, said crackdowns on drugs in Ukhiya and Teknaf border areas had taken a backseat in recent times. As a result, no new major yaba dealers were being arrested. Many yaba godfathers who recently surrendered were resuming their drug trade after being released on bail
The influx of yaba shipments had declined somewhat for a brief period, immediately after the death of retired major Sinha Md Rashed Khan in Teknaf upazila of Cox’s Bazar, only to rise again a few months later.
Drug traffickers are using the recent major overhaul of the Cox’s Bazar district police and other instances of oversight by the local law administration to their advantage and smuggling in large shipments of the contraband item safely through using unguarded hilly roads along the Bangladesh-Myanmar border, said local sources.
A case in point is that last Saturday (January 9), police arrested a CNG-run auto-rickshaw driver with 100,000 yaba in his possession on Eidgah Road in Ramu upazila of Cox’s Bazar.
Cox's Bazar Detective Branch (DB) of police arrested the alleged drug smuggler Hafeez Ahmed, 35, who was hiding the yaba pills inside the engine box of his human haulier, said Cox's Bazar Additional Superintendent of Police Rafiqul Islam.
On the sudden rise of yaba smuggling, the police official said police were securing the new routes being used by yaba smugglers in order to curb rampant drug trafficking.
According to a reliable source at the border, despite the vigilant stand of BGB, RAB, police and the Coast Guard, yaba continues to enter the country through at least 35 points at Ukhiya and Teknaf border. And these points are not necessarily limited by geography. Drug smugglers are sometimes using relief or emergency cargo vehicles and at other times fishing trawlers or various other vehicles.
These 35 points are in areas which include Teknaf’s St Martin, Shahpari Island, Damdamiya, Leda, Rangikhali, Uluchamari, Noakhaliapara, Shaplapur, Satghariyapara, Ukhia’s Amtali, Palangkhali, Marichya, Rezukhal, and Naikhyangchhari.
Locals, wishing anonymity, said crackdowns on drugs in Ukhiya and Teknaf border areas had taken a backseat in recent times. As a result, no new major yaba dealers were being arrested. Many yaba godfathers who recently surrendered were resuming their drug trade after being released on bail.
Soumen Mandal, assistant director, Narcotics Control Department, Cox's Bazar, said: “The government is working hard to stop all types of drug smuggling, especially yaba, at any cost. The law enforcement agencies are always conducting drives to arrest yaba traffickers.
Earlier in 2018, the home ministry published a list of 1,151 drug dealers, which included the names of more than 900 yaba dealers in the Teknaf border area alone.