Biggest-ever Yaba seizure in Ctg
Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) in a drive yesterday seized 2,70,000 pieces of illegal Yaba tablets, worth Tk 10 crore, from Asadganj area of Chittagong and arrested a smuggler along with three of his accomplices.
It is so far the largest ever seizure of Yaba tablets, a powerful addictive stimulant smuggled into the country.
Wrapped in similar packets, the tablets were smuggled in 14 sacks, mixed with 240 sacks of plums, on a truck. Made in China, the tablets came through Teknaf via Myanmar.
The arrestees are Abdur Rashid Kulu, 50, the importer; Sabbir Ahmed, 30; Ataul Karim, 28; and Mohammad Ismail, 27.
Acting on a tip-off, a joint-team of Rab-1 and 7 units raided a warehouse in Asadganj area under Kotwali Police Station in the city around 4:00am and made the seizure and the arrests.
Rab-7 Commanding Officer (acting) Maj Ziaul Ahsan said, “We seized the sacks of tablets while those were being un-loaded from a truck.”
Rab's Legal and Media Wing Director Commander M Sohail told that it was the biggest ever Yaba seizure in the country.
“There are special marks on the sacks which had Yaba inside. They brought Yaba in a few sacks and the others were filled with plum so that nobody could suspect.”
For the last four days, a joint team of Rab-1 and personnel of an intelligence agency had been watching the movement of the Yaba peddlers in Teknaf, Asadganj and Khatunganj areas, he said.
“The consignment came to the country from Myanmar Thursday night,” he added.
Rab handed over the arrestees to Kotwali police around 6:30pm, said officer-in-charge at the station, Rafiqul Islam. A case was filed.
Quoting the arrestees, M Sohail said Kulu purchases Yaba tablets from a Myanmar citizen, Amin, at Tk 50 a piece and sells at Tk 70 to the local buyers, mainly from Chittagong.
Amin buys the tablets from China at Tk 30 a piece while the local peddlers sell those at Tk 300.
“On March 20, Kulu received a consignment of 2,50,000 pieces,” said M Sohail.
Maj Ziaul said Ataul, another arrestee, rented the warehouse from the owner, Abdul Malek Chowdhury, three months ago without any deed.
Malek is the father of Nurul Rashid Chowdhury, who is the assistant personal secretary of Chittagong-11 MP Shamsul Haq Chowdhury and joint-convener of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) of Patiya upazila in Chittagong.
Asked, Nurul told, “The warehouse is not mine. It belongs to my father. As far as I know he rented it out few years ago.”
Malek claimed that Ataul rented the warehouse for three years upon a deed three months ago. “He also gave me 2 lakh 40 thousand taka in advance for one year and said they will store imported items like plum-pickle and various jam and jelly.”
“But I could never suspect that they were importing Yaba tablets,” he said.
Captain Rashid of Rab-7 on his mobile phone around 8:00pm received a call from a non-local phone asking him to release the seized Yaba tablets or face dire consequences, told Maj Ziaul.