Hidden within courier service parcels, electronic equipment, and raw materials, the popular narcotic continues to seep into the city
The flow of yaba into Dhaka remains uninterrupted as smugglers have found innovative methods to smuggle the drug into the city.
Hidden within courier service parcels, electronic equipment, and raw materials, the popular narcotic continues to seep into the city. Law enforcement officials are recovering thousands of tablets even an entire month into the anti-drug drive.
With drug peddlers working more carefully and not selling their wares to anyone who is not a reliable, long-term drug user, yaba business in the city continues despite the efforts of the Department of Narcotics Control (DNC) having reduced it a good degree.
As a result of drives by DNC, yaba sellers have adjusted their smuggling and selling methods and made them more dynamic. Before, they would smuggle their wares hidden in crates of seasonal fruits, bags, aluminum pots, and courier deliveries wrapped in cloth. Now, they’ve added to the mix their own bodies as a smuggling vessel.
On June 30, upon receiving intelligence, DNC agents raided a house in Dhaka’s Dakshin Khan. After a fruitless search of the house, they finally found 400 yaba tablets hidden inside a multiplug, cluing in after seeing a screwdriver nearby. Afterwards, they arrested Rasheduzzaman Ujjal, 41, from the house.
DNC Dhaka metropolitan unit (North) sub-region assistant director Md Khorshed Alam told Bangla Tribune: “After a long search turned out fruitless, we became suspicious upon seeing the screw driver. Upon interrogation, Ujjal admitted to being involved in smuggling.”
DNC Additional Director (Investigation) Md Nazrul Islam Sheikh said: “The supply and sale of drugs has reduced as a result of our drives, but it cannot be said that it is non-existent. Peddlers have become more careful than ever, constantly changing tactics to remain in business, even resorting to home deliveries. We need to strengthen our campaign with a publicity campaign to raise awareness against drugs, or it will not be possible to get rid of the problem.”
Law enforcement agencies said the sale of drugs has reduced drastically as a result of anti-narcotics drives. With many dealers having been arrested or shot dead in “gunfights”, a lot of drug rings have fallen apart. However, with the decrease in supply, a lot of people have gotten into smuggling drugs in secret in order to rake in extra money during the crisis. Drug peddlers are being arrested at different points of Dhaka every day.
On June 28, Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) 1 arrested a 22-year-old man named Aman Hossain for receiving 14,000 yaba tablets. A man named Alamgir had sent the tablets to him from Chittagong via courier service, and Aman was arrested when he went to the office of the courier service to retrieve the package.
Upon investigation, it was revealed that Alamgir’s name and address were fake.
RAB 1 Deputy Commanding Officer Major Ishtiaq Ahmed said: “Aman was supposed to collect the shipment and deliver it to two men named Jamal and Shujon. We are trying to find and apprehend them.”
On June 12, a drive conducted in Dhaka’s Paltan area by the Detective Branch (DB) yielded 5,000 pieces of yaba with a man named Md Alamgir, 38, who said he would collect the drugs from Cox’s Bazar, bring them to Dhaka, and sell them in Motijheel, Paltan, and other nearby areas.
A truck loaded with 1,000 bottles of phensedyl was seized and three men arrested at the Bijoy Sharani intersection by DB on June 11.
In the Satrasta intersection of the Tejgaon industrial area, three people were arrested with a thousand pieces of yaba among them on June 10. According to DB, the trio had ingested several packets consisting of 50 yabas each, using bananas and water to help them swallow. They used to bring shipments from Cox’s Bazar, and retrieve the packets after defecating in secluded areas to sell them in different parts of Dhaka.
Md Rahmat Ullah, assistant deputy commissioner (ADC) of a special action group of the Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) unit of the police said: “The flow of drugs into Dhaka has reduced significantly as a result of the anti-drug campaign. Smugglers have adopted new methods and tactics to maintain their businesses, but we are actively trying to stop them.”