55m yaba pills recovered in a year
At least 358 people killed in ‘shootouts’ with police
Law enforcers have seized a record 55 million Yaba pills in nationwide crackdowns in a year from May 2018 till date.
The Border Guard Bangladesh, Department of Narcotics Control, Bangladesh Coast Guard, Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) and Police have seized this huge volume of Yaba.
According to police and narcotics control department, the law enforcement agencies have seized 55 million yaba pills and 10 quintals of heroin in the last 12 months.
They say the amount was larger than the preceding years. In the past, the volume of yaba had never exceeded 40 million pills.
Each force in presence of the Home Minister destroys Yaba pills once in a year raising question among the minds of people.
Each year narcotics worth around Tk2000 crore is destroyed each year.
A number of high officials of law enforcers hold that seized drugs should be destroyed at least four times a year. The perseveration of the seized Yaba is risky.
Even members of law enforcement agencies are not also sure if the drugs preserved for such a long time go missing.
A countrywide anti-drug drive was announced on 4 May 2018 that actually began on 15 May. A total of 358 drug traders have been killed in the drives till 14 May this year.
Rights groups said the record haul showed the deaths had failed to make an impact on the trade.
The government Department of Narcotics Control said the drug popularly known as 'yaba', a Thai word meaning 'crazy medicine' - was seized across the South Asian nation of 165 million people.
He said there had been a significant decline in the use and sale of yaba.
Bangladesh has struggled to control a surge in yaba imports crossing the border from Myanmar, where the pills are manufactured by millions.
The pills have become an easy source of income for the Rohingya who poured across the border after the Myanmar military launched a clampdown in Rakhine in August 2017.
The refugees act as carriers, handing over the pills to dealers on the Bangladesh side of the border, who then take them to major cities, according to police.
A top rights activist said the record yaba seizure meant the hundreds of deaths had failed to make a serious dent in the drug trade.
According to locals of Cox's Bazar, BGB, RAB, police, Coast Guard and the narcotics control department recovered 1.2 million yaba pills from Teknaf's border areas and Ukhia in Cox's Bazar in April.
Yaba is being seized almost every day.
Yaba is still being smuggled into Bangladesh through several points along the Myanmar border, Cox's Bazar.
The police super of Cox's Bazar police sent a report to the police headquarters on 15 April saying many among the 1.1 million Rohigyas residing at Cox's Bazar refugee camps were involved in yaba trades.
They were crossing border easily as there were no barbed wire fences there and bringing in yaba and arms, it stated.
Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal expressed deep concern over the situation and directed the law enforcers to control the smuggling of narcotics at any cost to save the nation.