Several Indian syndicates are smuggling yaba pills from Myanmar and then sending them into Bangladesh through their carriers.
The Detective Branch of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) revealed this following the first ever arrest of an Indian national for yaba possession in Bangladesh.
DB officials said they unearthed at least two cases in which two Indians were found to have entered Bangladesh and engaged in selling the crazy pills to local dealers.
On August 9, a DB team arrested Indian national Md Abdus Sabur, 34, and two Bangladeshi yaba dealers -- Shamsul Alam, 28, and Jakir Hossain, 40 -- at a house in the capital’s Rampura. The law enforcers recovered some 10,000 pieces of yaba from their possession, Mashiur Rahman, deputy commissioner of DB (north), told The Daily Star yesterday.
Mashiur also said yaba smugglers changed their route in the face of tougher vigilance of law enforcers in Teknaf, known as the gateway of smuggling yaba into the country.
Several Indian syndicates are now using Kurigram’s Rowmari border point as a new route to bring yaba into Bangladesh, he said.
“They collect the pills from Myanmar and then take them to India’s Assam via Tripura before pushing them into Bangladesh.”
Contacted, Lt Col Nazrul Islam, commanding officer of Border Guard Bangladesh Battalion-35, which maintain security at the border point, said they arrested many with yaba pills, but were yet not sure about the origin of the drugs.
DB Additional Deputy Commissioner Junayed Alam Sharker, who is coordinating the investigation of a case over the arrest of the Indian national, said the arrestee’s passport showed he was from Assam.
Sabur was a vendor and got involved in yaba trade three to four months ago to earn easy money, he said.
“Sabur buys each pill for Tk 45 to Tk 50 and sells it for Tk 65 to Bangladeshi yaba dealers,” Junayed said, adding that yaba prices go up as the pills make their way to Bangladesh from Myanmar through the two Indian states.
The ADC said Sabur, using his own carriers, had earlier sent three other yaba shipments, each of 10,000 pieces. He arrived in Bangladesh for the first time on July 26 to observe the market here and establish a stronger network with Bangladeshi yaba dealers.
The local yaba dealers sold each pill for Tk 130 to Tk 140 in the wholesale markets and Tk 300 to Tk 350 in the local markets, the DB official said.
Of the two other arrestees, Jakir, also a cattle smuggler, has been involved in narcotics trade for years. He was earlier arrested in 2017 and stayed behind bars for six months, Junayed said.
The other arrestee, Shamsul, had not been facing any cases and he used to work for Jakir, he said.
Jakir said he had bought yaba pills from another Indian in Kurigram, said DB officials without elaborating.
“We have come to know that several yaba syndicates are active in Kurigram. Those have joined hands with their Indian associates,” the ADC said.
Based on information gleaned from the arrestees, law enforcers were raiding several places to arrest other yaba traders, he said.
Abu Mohammad Delwar Hasan Imam, officer-in-charge of Rowmari Police Station, said they had arrested many with yaba. Most of them were carriers of the drugs, he added.
“We heard that some yaba pills came from India, but we are yet to get any specific information about their origin,” he said, adding that they were investigating the matter as a priority.
This is not the first time law enforcers said yaba was coming into Bangladesh via India.
In July last year, they said yaba smugglers were using Mizoram, Meghalaya and Assam to bring in yaba from Myanmar.
The crazy medicine first enters Mizoram, a northeastern state of India, through hill roads and then makes its way to Assam and Meghalaya states in cars, buses or motorbikes.
Besides, the smugglers were found to be using the Bay of Bengal to smuggle the pills into Bangladesh using southern districts, including Patuakhali, added the law enforcers.