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Slain yaba kingpin spilled the beans on 33 other drug lords

  • Published at 11:29 pm June 10th, 2019
Yaba kingpin Saiful Karim Dhaka Tribune

Saiful also confessed to going underground as soon as the anti-narcotics drive commenced

Listed “Yaba Don” Saiful Karim divulged information on 33 other drug lords who deal in yaba smuggling across the Bangladesh-Myanmar border, shortly before his death on May 31, according to his case statement.

The statement also mentioned that he personally oversaw the yaba business of Jaliyapara Ghat's Md Amin, MP Badi’s brothers Moulvi Mujib and Abdul Shukkur, Salman, TT Zafar (Zafar Alam), his brother Gafur, Nurul Alam Bhuttu, Member Enamul Haque, and several others.

Saiful also confessed to going underground as soon as the anti-narcotics drive commenced, after which he stopped delegating his drug operations to his subordinates and ran the entire operation himself.

Teknaf police station Officer-in-Charge (OC), Pradip Kumar Das, confirmed this to Dhaka Tribune, adding that efforts are already underway to arrest the people Saiful mentioned in his confession statement.

Of them, the full names and details of 18 suspects are outlined in the case dossier. The other 15 are listed as 'unidentified' suspects.

According to the case, Saiful told police during questioning that he was the first to smuggle the methamphatamine-based yaba into Bangladesh, concealing the tablets inside goods imported from Myanmar. He controlled a powerful yaba syndicate which ran operations all over the country, including Teknaf.

The case statement also mentioned that a group of journalists with vested interests published misleading news in an effort to prevent the names of actual yaba kingpins from becoming public knowledge.

Saiful was listed, alongside former Awami League MP, Abdur Rahman Badi, on the list of 1,151 drug smugglers and dealers that was prepared by the Home Ministry last year.

Another sibling of Bodi's, Abdur Shukkur, and his cousin, Kamrul Hassan Russel, surrendered to Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan in February.

Saiful’s smuggling history

On paper, according to law enforcement sources, Saiful Karim was a clearing and forwarding (C&F) agent and trader. He had a wood importing agency named SK International, which he reportedly used as a front to run his real operation – smuggling yaba from Myanmar.

Sources said he had multiple ships that were used to smuggle into Bangladesh, hundreds of thousands of yaba pills from 38 Myanmar-based factories, every day.

Nearly every report from every intelligence agency included the names of Saiful and his family members. His five brothers are also reportedly involved in the yaba trade.

On February 16, a 102 yaba smugglers and dealers surrendered to police at an event in Cox’s Bazar in the first phase of a surrender program. Saiful was supposed to surrender at that time, but he did not show up.

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