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POST TIME: 23 August, 2019 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 22 August, 2019 11:47:51 PM
Yaba makes inroads thru India
PMO informs home ministry, asks it to stop smuggling of ‘madness drug’
DEEPAK ACHARJEE, Dhaka

Yaba makes inroads thru India

In addition to the old smuggling route of yaba through Cox’s Bazar, the drug traders are now feeling more comfortable in smuggling the madness drug from Myanmar into Bangladesh through four spots on the Indo-Bangladesh border in greater Sylhet. The drug traders are using the hilly roads and waterways of India’s Assam, Meghalaya and Tripura states to carry the yaba and finally sneak the drug in through the border points: Zakiganj in Sylhet, Madhyanagar and Tekerghat in Sunamganj and Balla in Habiganj district as the easiest gateways for the drug, said sources in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).

Those smugglers who earlier smuggled phensedyl and heroin are now smuggling yaba with the help of some corrupt members of law enforcement agencies, leaders and activists of the ruling Awami League and even students of the local colleges in Sylhet, the sources added. A special report on the new route of yaba has been prepared by the PMO. It has been sent to the home ministry for necessary steps to arrest the drug smugglers and their godfathers with a view to curb yaba smuggling, the sources claimed. In the special report, the PMO mentioned that the drug traders have established a yaba factory at the border point of Abdullahpur of Karimganj in India. Instead of establishing phensedyl factories, the drug traders have also established small yaba factories at the Indo-Bangladesh border points at Zakiganj in Sylhet and Balla in Habiganj district, according to the report.

At present, the drug traders are smuggling yaba tablets through the four points of the Indo-Bangladesh border after a number of high-profile drug traders lost their lives in Cox’s Bazar area recently. The madness drug is entering the country through Loharmohal of Kholachora union, Azorgaon of Sultanpur union, Isapur, Sultanpur, Sahidabad, Bhaktipur, Larigram and Salehpur of Barthakuri union, Manikpur, Chobriya and Senapatirchok of Jakiganj union and Baloramerchok of Koskanpur union of Zakiganj upazila, the report noted. The ‘craziness’ tablet was also entering the country from Karimganj in India through the border rivers, the Kushiyara and the Surma.

In the report, the PMO claimed that the yaba traders have also constructed a new road, with underground roads being built at the no-man’s land in the Zakiganj border area.

The report added that the Bangladeshi yaba traders issued orders to the Indian smugglers through cell-phones and made payments through hundi. After the yaba consignments are received, the tablets are distributed among their carriers so that they can reach Dhaka, Gazipur and other parts of the country. Over 1 lakh yaba tablets have been seized in different parts of Sylhet area in the past three months.

The sector commander of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) of Sylhet sector, Col. AMM Khirul Kabir, admitted that the drug traders were smuggling yaba through border points in Sylhet region. “We are showing a zero tolerance policy towards yaba smuggling. That’s why we are conducting drives at different

areas to stop the smuggling of yaba. These drives will continue,” he said. When asked about the establishment of small yaba factories at the border points in India, the BGB’s senior officer said they have no actual information on it, but they have indeed heard about it. “We can place any information related to the establishment of the small yaba factories in India at the flag meeting with the Border Security Force (BSF) of India if we receive real information on the issue,” he added. The secretary of the Security Service Division of the home ministry, Md. Shahiduzzaman, told The Independent that they have already asked the Department of Narcotics Control (DNC) to adopt a zero tolerance policy to curb smuggling and the use of drugs, especially yaba.

“The central and the district taskforces, the border force, the BGB, and the members of the law enforcement agencies were conducting joint drives to curb the smuggling, trade and use of drugs across the country,” he said.

DNC director-general (DG) Mohammad Jamal Uddin Ahmed told this correspondent that they have raised the issue of smuggling of yaba through Indian territory.

India’s home minister, Amit Shah, has assured them that they will not allow their land to be used for the smuggling of yaba. The DNC chief also said that they will raise the issue further at the next DG-level talks between the DNC Bangladesh and India, to be held in September this year in Dhaka. Replying to a query after a director-general-level border conference at the BGB headquarters in Dhaka on June 16, the BSF’s DG, Rajni Kant Mishra, had said the source of yaba smuggling into the Bangladesh was through a third country.