Some of the top human traffickers of Teknaf who were spotted in the area recently are: Khuilya Mia Majhi, Md Firoz, Abu Taher, Helal Uddin, Syed Ullah, Md Ismail, Abdul Hamid, Abul Kalam, Nazir Ahmed, Lomba Selim, Md Delwar, Sayeed Kamal and Ziabul.
In Cox's Bazar, sources told the Dhaka Tribune that known traffickers such as Abdul Amin Malaysia and Md Hashim alias Poya Majhi were also present there.
Meanwhile in Ukhia, top traffickers such as Syed Alam, Mohammad Syed, Akhtar Mia, Madu, Sagar Ali were also seen roaming in their respective localities. A leading trafficker named Rustom Ali was reportedly arrested for a brief time before being released by the Inani outpost police.
All of the suspects have around five to ten human trafficking cases filed against them.
Asked how so many human traffickers were able to secure bail, Anti-Corruption Commission's Public Prosecutor Abdur Rahim said many of the suspects gave false information and used tricks to get out on bail.
He, however, added that the ACC has already started a drive to confiscate the wealth illegally amassed by these human smugglers.
Officer-in-charge of Teknaf police station, Md Abdul Majid, told the Dhaka Tribune that they did not have any information about any warranted suspect being present in the area. However, he admitted that some alleged traffickers were currently out on bail.
Lt Ashikur Rahman, the in-charge of Cox's Bazar RAB 7, also said it was unlikely that any human traffickers were still in the area. However, any information suggesting their presence would be investigated, the RAB official said.
Sources told the Dhaka Tribune that many of the human traffickers were recently spotted in Ukhia upazila's Kotbazar, Lomboripara, Sonaichhari, Sonarpara and Monkhali.
Many of them have arrived in the area for the upcoming union parishad election and were regularly gathering during night at Jaliyapalong union's Sonaichhari Badamtoli, Sonarpara Bazar and Kotbazar, the sources added.
The Dhaka Tribune tried to get the comment of Ukhia police OC Md Habibur Rahman for two days straight; but he did not pick up his phone.
However, Additional Superintendent of Police Md Ferdous Ali Chowdhury admitted to the Dhaka Tribune that it was possible that some human traffickers might have returned centring the UP elections.
But he added that the police were alert on this issue, and were keeping an eye on those who were out on bail.
Human trafficking from Cox's Bazar to Malaysia through Teknaf point began in 2010 and grew exponentially over the next few years.
There are seven major human trafficking syndicates active in Cox's Bazar, with over 2,000 operatives spread throughout the district.
Authorities managed to put a leash on the human trafficking business in the district after the discovery of mass graves of migrants in Thailand and Malaysia last year triggered an international outcry. However, many of the criminals have never been brought to justice.
According to the United Nations, around 1.6 million people from Bangladesh and Myanmar were trafficked to Malaysia between 2010 and 2015.