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Dhaka Tribune

RAB deploys new weapon against yaba smugglers

Update : 18 Jan 2016, 11:25 AM

In the largest ever yaba haul by any law enforcement agency, the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) has arrested three people with 2.8 million yaba pills in Dhaka and Chittagong.

RAB Director General Benazir Ahmed said on Monday that recent successes in taking down yaba traders is largely the result of RAB's new naval equipment.

A deep water speedboat is RAB's new weapon in turning the tide on the illegal yaba trade.

Since the elite force's Aquatic Search and Rescue team acquired, three months ago, a speedboat capable of doing 35 nautical miles an hour in deep water, the elite force has recovered 4 million yaba pills, Benazir said.

That accounts for more nearly half of last year's seizures in just three months.

“In the year since last January 1, RAB has seized 9.2 million yaba pills. Chittagong-based RAB 7 alone seized 7.8 million of the contraband drugs,” Benazir said.

The RAB DG wants two more of the fast boats for RAB units in Khulna and Barisal.

“With these boats we can intercept yaba shipments and completely put down the yaba trade. We can significantly reduce piracy as well,” Benazir said.

“Yaba traders and pirates use deep-sea routes to evade our patrols. We need to chase and capture them wherever they hide in deep waters,” he said.

Kingpin collared

One of the detainees in the historic drug bust is local yaba smuggling ringleader Ali Ahmed, RAB Assistant Director (Media) Maksudul Alam said on Monday morning at a press conference at RAB headquarters in Dhaka's Uttara.

RAB officials said a Myanmar citizen known as Bomonk is the main supplier of the yaba pills recently seized.

They said his local contact is a Rohingya with both Myanmar and Bangladeshi citizenship named Ayatullah whose local network included Ali Ahmed.

The other two detainees were identified as Md Hamidullah, 32, and Mohiuddin 37.

Asked whether any of the godfathers of the yaba trade had been caught, Benazir said: “We have information about some of them but do not want to comment while our operations are under way.”

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