400 drug peddlers killed, 1.5 lakh arrested
1 lakh cases filed since May
Published : Saturday, 5 January, 2019 at 12:00 AM Count : 705
At least 400 alleged drug peddlers have been killed, 1.5 lakh arrested and 1 lakh cases were filed since the law enforcers started a nationwide anti-drug crackdown in May.
Some 150,000 drug suspects have been arrested since law enforcement agencies sharply stepped up their anti-narcotics operations on May 14, in a campaign aimed largely at stemming the flow of Yaba tablets, a methamphetamine manufactured and smuggled in from neighbouring Myanmar, authorities said.
Most of the drug peddler suspects get bail from jail, source said.
The Yaba tablets enter
Bangladesh through Teknaf border of Cox's Bazar before they are distributed through peddlers all over the country. Most of the drug 'mafias,' however, remain untouched. Law enforcers said that many of the listed drug dealers have fled the country.
And despite the ruthless operations that drew criticism from rights groups, Yaba smuggling has not yet come to a halt either.
Two suspected drug traders were killed in reported gunfights last night and early today (Thursday) in Meherpur and Cumilla districts. In Meherpur, police recovered the bullet-hit body of a suspected drug peddler from Buripota bordering area in Sadar upazila on Thursday.
In Cumilla, Saiful Islam, 22, a "drug trader" and son of Jahangir Alam of Jorameher village, was killed in a reported gunfight with members of Detective Branch of police at Managram in Adarsha Sadar Upazila last night. One revolver, 300 Yaba tablets were recovered from the spot.
Bangladesh government's official data shows the total number of drug addicts in the country is more than 8 million and most of them consume Yaba. The law enforcement agencies have recovered more than 44 million pills of Yaba last year.
According to United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), only 10 per cent of total drugs are generally recovered in any country. By that estimate, 400 million Yaba pills worth Tk 60 billion are sold each year in the country. Law enforcers claim pills of around Tk 100 billion are sold each year in the local markets.
Such a huge turnout remains an incentive for smuggling Yaba despite the 'zero tolerance' policy of the law enforcers, said several officials of RAB and police. Yaba trade has turned out to be another normal business for many in Cox's Bazar.
Law enforcing agencies, including police, RAB, and BGB, started a nationwide anti-drug crackdown in May. Of them, the police have achieved more than any others forces in the nationwide crakedown.
According to law enforcing agency data around 1.5 lakh drug addicts and drug traders have been arrested across the country by this time. A total of 1 lakh cases have been filed against them, sources said.
Several law enforcement officials admitted that despite the drives, Yaba tablets are being smuggled in through Naf river and sea routes. The narcotics are transported from Teknaf to the rest of the country.
Law enforcement agencies have been reporting death of 'drug dealers' in 'crossfire' almost every day since the nationwide drive against drugs began in May following a directive from Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
The government still maintains zero tolerance regarding drug as it had against extremists. The ongoing drives against drug traders, smugglers and users would continue.