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25 September, 2016 00:00 00 AM
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Yaba tablets being made in 5 factories in India

DEEPAK ACHARJEE, back from Benapole border of Jessore

Indian smugglers have set up at least five yaba tablet factories along the India-Bangladesh border, in the North-24 Parganas district of West Bengal. These factories, producing the contraband yaba tablets, are being run for the past three months, by smugglers, who have also been manufacturing phensidyl syrup for a long time, say sources in Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) and local smugglers operating in the Benapole and Kashipur border areas. This correspondent spoke to local people, smugglers, and BGB personnel on border crimes during a visit to several border areas in Satkhira, Benapole in Jessore, and Kustia, last week. Some of those involved in the illicit trade told the The Independent, on condition of anonymity, that Indian smugglers, who produce phensidyl, were now producing yaba tablets, as well at various places in North-24 Parganas district of West Bengal. They had been encouraged to diversify into this business due to soaring demand for the ‘madness drug’ in Bangladesh. “We have heard that at least five yaba factories have been set up so far. Of these, four have been producing the drug for the last three months, and another factory is being set up,” said Rabbi (name changed), a local smuggler from the Kashipur village in Sharsha area.
“Yaba tablet of four ‘brands’—‘007’, ‘Champa’, ‘WY’ and ‘Neela’—were being produced by the Indian factories,” he said. “Of these, 007 is costlier than the others. They are pink in colour and sell at Tk. 350 to Tk. 400 each. Colour of the Champa brand of yaba tablet is light pink and sells at Tk. 250 to Tk. 300 each. The WY tablets are also light, costing Tk. 70 to Tk. 80 each,” Rabbi added.
He said the yaba tablet Neela began entering the country from India last month, but the BGB were yet to seize any consignment so far. According to the smuggler, the border points of Kashipur, Shikarpur, Putkhali, Goga, Kaiba, Sadipur and Dhannokhola under Sharsha area and Kabinpur, Mashila, Hizli and Jadavpur of Chowgacha, and the Benapole-Petrapole formed the main transit routes of yaba tablets entering Bangladesh from India.
He said Phensidyl traders Sadukul, son of late Khairul Islam of Belta village, Tajiya, her daughter Shahana and son Shanti, of Kashipur village, were smuggling and selling yaba, while Rafi, known as ‘Madok Samrat’ (king of drugs) of Kashipur, and Sadukul smuggled drugs like Phensidyl, ganja (marijuana) and yaba tablets.
They also traded in small arms and ammunition procured from India, selling them through a network of associates.
They mostly use women and children as couriers to carry the smuggled goods to their customers, he said.
In a reverse flow, gold was being smuggled from Bangladesh to India.
Rabbi also said that these Bangladeshi smugglers used several SIM cards of Bangladesh and Indian mobile phone operators, as the networks of both the countries were available up to a distance of around 1.5 km into both sides of the No Man’s Land.
Human trafficking and ‘hundi’ transactions (money laundering) were also flourishing border businesses, he said.
Rabbi told The Independent that border guards had prepared a list of Bangladeshi smugglers, but the law enforcement agencies had failed to arrest them for inexplicable reasons. The acting Commanding Officer (CO) of BGB-2, Major Liakat, told The Independent that they had seized a good number of yaba tablets smuggled in from India, during the past few months.
“We suspect that yaba tablet factories have been set up in India, and those must be stopped,” he said.
“On September 21, the Benapole BGB seized 800 yaba tablets from a woman, and, on August 16, they seized 50 yaba tablets from the same area, while 291 tablets were seized last month,” he informed.
Regional commander of the Jessore region, Brig. Gen. Md Khalilur Rahman, said several yaba consignments had been seized at different border points in Khulna, Satkhira, and Benapole, over the last few months.
“The colour, size, and design of the seized yaba tablets are different from those produced in Myanmar,” he said. BGB Director-General, Maj. Gen. Aziz Ahmed, told this correspondent they would raise the issue at the DG-level talks between the BGB and the BSF to be held in Delhi, from September 30 to October 5 this year.
“We’ll urge our counterpart to take immediate steps to shut down the yaba factories on Indian territory. If the factories are not closed down now, by the Indian authorities, our youth would be very badly affected,” he said.
Sources said, smugglers in India were targeting Bangladesh, as the demand for the tablet in the country was growing rapidly. Yaba is mostly popular among those who suffer from sexual or mental problems. Some unscrupulous doctors and chemists prescribe and sell pills laced with yaba, for immediate relief.
The drug is believed to have led to organised crime rackets, official corruption, street violence, and broken families. According to a human rights leader, yaba addiction had ended the relationship of over a 100 newly married couples. It has even led to an increase in suicides in SAARC countries, including Bangladesh and India.

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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