Yaba trade continues in the country despite the heavy crackdowns by law enforcing agencies
The Department of Narcotics Control (DNC) has listed nearly 3,500 "drug traders" in a bid to curb the trade of illegal substances.
“Those on the list are being strictly monitored. We are trying to arrest them as soon as possible,” DNC Additional Director Fazlur Rahman told the media on Friday.
Rahman was briefing the media about busting a crystal meth or "Ice gang" on Wednesday night.
Yaba traders are bringing crystal methamphetamine (Ice) in Bangladesh from Myanmar. Besides, most of the Ice dealers are highly educated, as well as they come from very wealthy families, according to him.
Also Read- Is Meth addiction taking over Dhaka?
Police arrested five people with 560gm crystal meth and 1,200 yaba tablets during raids in Mohammadpur and Dhanmondi.
The arrestees are Zakaria Ahmed Aman, 32, Tareque Ahmed, 55, Saddam Hossain, 31, Shahidul Islam Khan, 48, and Jashim Uddin, 50.
According to senior DNC official Rahman, two of them were produced before the court on Thursday while the rest will be brought on Friday.
Also Read - Man held with ‘Ice’ worth 10C in Teknaf
The narcotics control department had prepared a list of 3,000 drug traders last year as well, he added.
Asked why the drug dealers are not being arrested, he replied: "It is not possible to arrest everyone due to the lack of evidence as they don’t deal directly, rather control the racket with money."
Over the last two decades, yaba, a methamphetamine-based drug, replaced Phensedyl. Before that, the government banned the consumption of opium and weed in the eighties.
Despite the government’s zero-tolerance policy and a crackdown from law enforcers, the drug trade, especially that of yaba continues in full swing.
Due to its easy portability, yaba, which mostly comes in through Myanmar, has spread like wildfire in Bangladesh with thousands of youths addicted to it.
In 2018, the law enforcers led a crackdown against yaba traders leading to a number of reported gunfights.
Also Read- Biggest 'ice' haul busted in Bangladesh
While the gunfights often put law enforcement agencies under criticism, yaba trade continued unobstructed.
According to law enforcers, the pandemic had lowered drug trade in the country, now the traders are more active than ever, with drugs like LSD and crystal meth.
Many fear that with the increasing number of arrests being made over crystal meth possession, the drug might soon replace yaba as the next drug of destruction.