The estimated value of the seized drug is about Tk50 crore
Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) has arrested three yaba dealers with 800,000 pieces of yaba pills from Dhaka’s Sadarghat and Abdullahpur areas.
The estimated value of the seized drug is about Tk50 crore.
The arrestees are Tuhin Hossain, 25, Md Sobuj, 26, and Md Shahjahan, 35, RAB’s Legal and Media Wing Director Mufti Mahmud Khan told a press briefing at the force’s media centre in Karwan Bazar on Tuesday afternoon.
He said they were tipped off earlier about a group of drug smugglers bringing in a large consignment of the banned drug from Myanmar to Dhaka via Patuakhali using the river route.
A RAB-1 team conducted a drive in the Sadarghat area around 6am and arrested Tuhin and Sobuj with 505,000 pieces of yaba from a launch, Mufti said.
After questioning the two men, RAB officials found out that another person was coming to Dhaka from Barisal with another yaba consignment. Later, Shahjahan was arrested with 340,000 pieces of yaba when another RAB team conducted a second drive in Uttara’s Abdullahpur area, he added.
The RAB official further said that the arrested suspects during preliminary interrogation revealed that they were members of a smuggling ring, which currently uses a new river route to smuggle yaba into the capital city from Cox’s Bazer via Patuakhali and Chandpur.
After the consignments arrive, the yaba pills are stored at a house in the city, and later, members of the smuggling ring deliver the pills to different dealers, he said.
Quoting the suspects, Mufti also said that some expatriates had invested in this yaba business. However, he declined to share details for the sake of the ongoing investigation.
Asked how yaba smuggling was still going on despite the ongoing anti-drug raids and arrests, Mufti told reporters: “This is a massive smuggling ring. We are doing everything we can and the rate of smuggling has dropped because of that.
“We are showing zero tolerance and not taking any rest to tackle the menace. Our raids are ongoing and will continue.”
RAB, along with other law enforcement agencies, has arrested 19,379 drug dealers after kicking off a special operation across the country on May 3, 2018.
Since then, the elite force has also seized more than 7.5 million pieces of yaba, along with other large quantities of narcotics — all of which was worth a little over Tk450.21 crore.
On the other hand, RAB mobile courts jailed or fined 8,556 drug dealers during 2,375 drives.