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Drug traffickers altering yaba’s colour

  • Published at 06:19 pm April 19th, 2019
WEB-File-Photo-Yaba-Mahmud-Hossain-Opu
File photo of yaba pills seized by law enforcement agencies Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune

In the last ten months, around one million yaba pills have been confiscated in Cox’s Bazar and Teknaf

Drug traffickers near the Cox’s Bazar border are changing the colour of yaba in an attempt to rework their smuggling tactics.

On April 12, in the Kolatoli area of Cox’s Bazar, police confiscated around 800 yaba pills from Md Raju Islam Rana, 26. The drugs were brought to Cox’s Bazar model police station. The police had trouble discerning whether the pills were indeed yaba, as they were of a different colour from the usual red-pink hue.

Upon further inspection, the police found that the confiscated pills were definitely yaba, despite having momentarily been thrown off by the colour alteration. 

Sources said drug traders at different points of the border are changing the colour of yaba pills in an attempt to evade the police and change smuggling tactics. Aside from the regular red-pink, drug traders are now smuggling yaba pills in white, black, and yellow. These new pills are not as common as the usual ones and they are more expensive than the red-pink ones.

In the last ten months, around one million yaba pills have beenconfiscated in the Cox’s Bazar and Teknaf area.


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Locals said yaba is coming into Bangladesh from 38 points in Ukhia, Teknaf, and Bandarban’s Naikhongchhari upazila. Allegedly, more people in the Cox’s Bazar area are becoming involved in the drug trade. Some locals allege that some members of law enforcement are aiding the drug peddlers.

Preferring the remain anonymous, multiple yaba traders have also alleged that the police are involved in the drug trade. The sources said they bring the yaba from Myanmar and sell a small portion of it to tourists. The rest is sent to Dhaka and other parts of the country.

Teknaf BGB 2 Captain Lieutenant Colonel Faisal Hasan Khan said the authorities are showing zero tolerance when it comes to the drug trade.

The Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB) official said: “We have amped-up security in the border areas.

“If we find that any member of law enforcement is associated with the drug traders, we will take severe action against them.”

Cox’s Bazar Additional Superintendent of Police Md Iqbal Hossain said: “The police, BGB, and RAB are working together to purge the drug trade. Drug smuggling has lessened significantly over the past few months.

“Giving drug traders the opportunity to surrender was a wise choice. This will help reduce drug trafficking.”