POST TIME: 24 May, 2018 00:00 00 AM
Listed Teknaf drug peddlers not in scene for now
Toufiqul Islam from Cox’s Bazar

Listed Teknaf drug peddlers not in scene for now

Law enforcement agencies have not been able to arrest a single listed drug dealer or peddler so far in Teknaf, the place through which most of the illicit narcotics find their way into the country, even in the face of the continuous countrywide drive launched against drug abuse.

The home affairs ministry has recently identified 60 top drug dealers and 1,151 drug peddlers. Most of them are from Teknaf, Cox's Bazar. Cox's Bazar police claim none of the suspects can be arrested as most of the listed drug dealers and peddlers have fled the area and currently are in hiding.

Afzarul Haque Tutul, additional police super of Cox's Bazar, told The Independent: "We're trying to arrest local drug traders. No one will be spared." “We have raided houses of almost all the listed drug dealers and peddlers but failed to nab any of them as they have gone into hiding,” the police official said.

He, however, admitted that a lot of drug traders had crossed over to Myanmar to avoid arrest. “We are trying to trace them and they will not be spared,” he added.

Civil society members have expressed their surprise at the failure of the law enforcers in this regard.

The drive against drug dealers is still continuing across the country. Nine more suspected drug peddlers were killed yesterday, taking the tally of dead drug dealers in “gunfights” to 48 in 10 days of the countrywide anti-narcotics crackdown.

Kalim Ullah, vice-president of Cox’s Bazar Society, said though the operation was not gaining much ground in Cox's Bazar due to the inaction of a section of law enforcers. Some unscrupulous members of local law enforcement agencies were in cahoots with drug dealers, he added.

Yaba trafficking is continuing unopposed at the Teknaf border, according to sources in the Border guard Bangladesh (BGB). A BGB team recovered more than one lakh pieces of yaba tablets from the Kharangkhalil forest field area yesterday morning.

Kazi Manjurul Islam, acting commander of BGB-2 in Teknaf, said that they conducted the operation on the basis of a tip-off. But the drug dealers were well aware of their presence and fled the scene without the consignment before being nabbed, he added.

It is learnt from different sources that a large number of drug dealers have fled to Myanmar by crossing the border town of Teknaf. Locals said that yaba traders did not appear in public for the last few days.

However, law enforcement agencies in Cox’s Bazar claim that they are still very much involved in the anti-drug campaign.

Earlier, on March 20, 2014, Niran Noor, a yaba trader, had died in a gun battle with RAB and BGB forces. Later, six more were killed in gunfights with law enforcers.

Following these encounters, drug traders went behind the scene for a long time. But of late, they have come out of theit hiding places and again started the business.

On May 22, home minister Asaduzzaman Khan said that although they have allegations of drug trading against ruling party lawmaker from Cox’s Bazar Abdur Rahman Bodi, they have no data or proof of his involvement in such business. He also said that they had been looking into the allegations against Bodi.

“If you have any information in this regard, please share it with us,” the minister added. The minister also said that police had been instructed to show zero tolerance against drugs.