Teknaf: Thousands of yaba stimulant tablets smuggled across the border into Bangladesh were seized by Bangladesh law enforcement over the last week, according to border media reports.
Two Bangladeshi traffickers were arrested with 5,000 yaba tablets by BDR, Bangladesh's border security force, on Thursday, 12 August 2010, at the checkpoint in Dumdum Mia in southern Bangladesh's Teknaf on the border with Burma's Maungdaw.
The two were identified as 26-year-old Mohammed Nazan, and 25-year-old Dilwar. They were caught by BDR at the checkpost with the tablets while traveling in a car from Teknaf to the sea resort Cox's Bazar. The tablets were reportedly smuggled into Teknaf by a rowboat from Maungdaw.
In a different case, another Bangladeshi youth was arrested with 1,011 yaba tablets by BDR on the banks of the Naff River in Teknaf on Tuesday, 10 August 2010, while he was smuggling the tablets across the border in his row boat from Maungdaw. He was identified as 18-year-old Mohammed Kaiser from DumDum Mia Village in Teknaf.
Another Burmese Muslim youth was arrested with 1,800 yaba tablets in Lamar Bazar Market in Teknaf by local police on Monday, 9 August 2010, while he was on his way to meet his Bangladeshi syndicate contact in Zaila Para in Teknaf.
The Burmese youth was identified as 21-year-old Kamal Hossain, son of Nur Ahmed from Ward No. 2 in Maungdaw. His syndicate contact was identified as 26-year-old Masou, who was also arrested by police in connection with the case.
According to sources across the border area, both Burmese and Bangladeshi traffickers are widely engaging in the yaba trade as it has become one of the most lucrative businesses in the area, with demand high in Bangladesh.
There are three types of yaba being smuggled into Bangladesh from Burma - Super, R7D, and Champa - all of which bear the mark "WY" on the face of the pills. Wholesale prices are approximately 2,000 to 3,500 Kyat per pill in Maungdaw in Burma, while the price ranges from 300 to 500 Taka in Bangladesh, or approximately 4,000 to 7,000 Kyat at the current exchange rate of 1.00 Taka to 13.8 Kyat.
Although Bangladesh has been taking serious action to stop the cross-border yaba trafficking, officers from Burma's border guard force Nasaka have been abetting the crime by taking bribes from the traffickers or indirectly engaging in the business themselves, said the sources.
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