Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh: The drugs smugglers were now selecting for waterways to transport the drug to Bangladesh instead of land routes for restriction of Burma-Bangladesh border area – especially Teknaf, a border Town and main entry point of drugs from Burma to Bangladesh, said Bangladesh Coast Guard officer Mahfuzul Islam. “Around 50 Yaba factories had been established in Myanmar along the bordering areas to supply the drugs to Bangladesh,” Islam said.
The smugglers were using fishing trawlers to transport the drug as the coastguards gave less attention to them compared to other water vessels. “Smugglers are exploiting this (less vigil on trawlers), Islam more added.
“The drugs (mainly Yaba tablets) are being carried from Burma to Bangladesh by trawlers and supplied to different districts of Bangladesh such as Cox’s Bazar, Chittagong, Chandip and etc.”
According to Bangladesh Coast Guard report, it seized 72,000 Yaba tables from different fishing trawlers in January and 35,000 in February this year.
Chittagong Metropolitan Police’s Deputy Commissioner Babul Akter and Department of Narcotics Control Deputy Director Mukul Jyoti Chakma said reporters at press conference that smugglers were considering waterways ‘safer’ for transport of Yaba amid tight security at different points on the land routes.
Babul said smugglers transported Yaba consignments on fishing trawlers and handed them over to their Bangladeshi counterparts in the coastal areas. Sometimes the consignments are handed over on rivers.
Detective Branch (DB) of police arrested drug two smugglers with 30,000 pieces of Yaba tablets in raided at Chittangong fishery Ghat (Gate) on June 20, 2014, were employee of fishing trawler FB Sagor and the owner of a water vessel repairing workshop, Azam Mechanics, said DB Assistant Commissioner Anwar Hossain said to reporters in his office.
On being tipped off, Bangladesh Coastguard seized 150,000 pieces Yaba tablets along with a trawler nearby Chandip on June 30, 2014 after being conducted operation from the Bay of Bengal. They also arrested a drug smuggler- Rofique Aziz (55), son of Fozal Ahmed of Anuwara upazila under the Chittagong district- during the raided, according to coastguard official.
Since March 2014, the concerned authorities – Police, Coastguard, Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) and Repeat Action Battalion (RAB) – of Bangladesh jointly raided various operations and arrested many Yaba smugglers from Teknaf, the Bangladesh-Burma border. The joint forces also killed some Yaba smugglers during the operation, according to civil society report.
The concerned authority has been giving tight security along the border, so smugglers are not able to carry Yaba tablets by vehicles or by land. Consequently, a group of smugglers are taking step a new route through the Bay of Bengal, according to different sources