Biggest haul of ice seized in Dhaka
Rab officers yesterday seized 5kg of crystal meth, worth an estimated Tk 12.5 crore in Dhaka, in the biggest haul of the drug in the country, said a spokesperson of the force.
Rab-15 officers arrested two men in possession of the drug during a raid in Jatrabari, Commander Khandaker Al Moin, director (legal and media) of Rab, told a press briefing at Rab Media Centre in Karwan Bazar.
The arrestees, Mohammad Hossain alias Khokon, 33, suspected to be the ringleader, and Mohamamd Rafique, 32, are from Teknaf, Cox's Bazar, Moin said.
Bangladeshi traffickers used to bring stashes of ice from Myanmar without paying any money. And they didn't have to pay the Myanmarese sellers for hauls that got busted on the way, Moin said.
The local drug dealers only paid the meth lab owners in Myanmar once they managed to bring the drug to Dhaka, the commander added.
Each gram of ice costs Tk 1,500-2,000 in Myanmar, but in Dhaka, the same amount can cost up to Tk 10,000-15,000, he added.
They used to smuggle the drugs across the border on boats that also carried clothes and other Burmese goods, he said. To evade detection, they used Myanmarese SIM cards on their phones when they were near the border.
The arrestees were also in possession of a pistol, five bullets, two mobile phones, three SIM cards including a Myanmarese one, and Tk 20,000 in cash.
During primary interrogation, they told officers that some 20-25 people were involved in the racket.
After getting hauls of ice and yaba across the border, they stored them in several houses in Teknaf and later brought those to Chattogram by road. The drugs are then brought to the capital, the commander said.
"Demand of ice is increasing these days. The gang has members operating in Uttara, Banani, Gulshan, Dhanmondi and Mohammadpur areas."
Khokon, the suspected ringleader, has been smuggling in yaba for five years and recently started trafficking ice, the Rab official said, adding that there are at least seven cases against him.
Rafique, the other arrestee, often carried drugs in the guise of an auto-rickshaw puller, the official said.
Crystal meth is a powerful drug that affects the central nervous system. Users are at high risks of stroke, heart attack, teeth decay, permanent hallucinations, and other short and long-term health effects, according to the US National Institute on Drug Abuse.
The first haul of ice was seized in the capital's Mohammadpur in February 2019, officials said.
This year alone, law enforcers recovered at least 15 kg of ice in several raids in Dhaka, Chattogram and Cox's Bazar.