A top intelligence official of Bangladesh Department of Narcotics Control on Monday claims students of Bangladesh are the top consumer of yaba, a drug composed of methamphetamine [a powerful and addictive stimulant] and caffeine.
“Students consume yaba while lower-income people smoke marijuana. High-income people drinks alcohol,” he said.
Though Nazrul did not present any data to support his argument, but earlier this year the chairman of the parliamentary standing committee on Home Ministry told the parliament
that at least 550,000 Bangladeshi students are addicted to drugs.
The Dhaka Tribune’s own investigation
supports the lawmaker’s statement as well.
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According to sources, children from privileged families are using electric cigarettes to take the drug in certain coaching centres of Dhaka.
“We have found a number of cases where students are using the liquid of electric cigarettes to melt the pills and inhale the fumes, particularly in coaching centres in Dhaka” he added, stressing that this also combines the drug with the cancer agent nicotine.
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When asked about the location of these coaching centers, Nazrul inferred they were in the Malibagh and Farmgate area. Students at these coaching centres are predominantly from privileged families.
“A student of class nine, who is taking treatment in a rehabilitation center in Dhaka, informed me that they are learning the technique of using electric cigarette liquid to take drugs from the Internet” he said, adding that they were trying to find suppliers of the liquid while increasing awareness among parents.
Also Read- Children’s involvement in crime on the rise
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“Yaba comes from two routes in Bangladesh. One through Myanmar, and the other through India.” he said during the briefing.
The drug kingpins adopted smarter approaches to smuggle yabas in Bangladesh – like packaging the yaba pills in different tablet foils or masking the pink colouring of it.
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“Our own laboratory tests reveal that yaba is being smuggled into the country under different brand names of medicines. The most popular are Codex, Iconic, Codokok and Pabbokok.
A drug peddler, seeking anonymity, told the Dhaka Tribune earlier this year that there are three types of pills- Champa, R7 and Controller.
Pink Champa pills are the cheapest and the most available. In Dhaka, one such pill can be availed for Tk220-330, he said.
Earlier in the morning, DNC Director (Operations) Towfique Ahmed mentioned that the conflict in Myanmar would not affect overall Yaba supply in Bangladesh. He said there were unconfirmed reports of Yaba coming in from India.
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The director described the reports as “a new headache”, with many drug companies importing methamphetamine from India. Though there are no official records, methamphetamine in the wrong hands can be used to manufacture yaba.