With uninterrupted smuggling of various deadly drugs, including yaba from neighbouring countries, most of the lanes, by-lanes even residential areas in the capital and its outskirts have turned into safe heavens for drug traders and addicts.
Smuggling of yaba is still rampant in the country through different land and waterways touching the bordering points in Teknaf of Cox’s Bazaar.
Evading the eyes of law enforcers, including Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB), such dangerous drugs are entering the country through different bordering points every day, detective sources said.
In the wake of such drug smuggling, BGB men on Wednesday caught a Myanmar citizen with around 200,000 yaba tablets from Teknaf of Cox’s Bazaar.
Deadly drugs like yaba are still being smuggled into the country from neighbouring Myanmar through different coastal and land bordering points of the Cox’s Bazar, detectives said.
City-dwellers alleged that the listed criminals and drug smugglers having a link with dishonest policemen have turned most of the lanes, by-lanes even residential areas in the capital and its outskirts including Keraniganj, Tongi, Savar and Siddhirganj areas safe haven for drug business.
Youngsters, mostly school, college and university-going boys and girls are reportedly getting addicted to these dangerous drugs day by day.
From early morning to midnight, sales of drugs like Phensedyl, yaba, heroin, weed and various sex-stimulating pills go on unabated in different areas in the capital, including Uttara, Dhanmondi, Mirpur, Jatrabari and greater old Dhaka, sources have said.
The footpath beneath the busy Mayor Hanif Flyover in Dhaka’s Chankharpul has become a safe haven for drug addicts and peddlers over the years, locals alleged.
From marijuana to yaba to heroin—everything is available here. After taking the drugs, the addicts often spend the night on the footpath, making it virtually inaccessible for the pedestrians.
The drugs come from different places, including the outskirts of the city, like Keraniganj and Jinjira, and from border areas like Comilla and beyond, they said.
“Local peddlers buy those drugs from dealers and sell them here…Yaba is in high demand here,” Akash, a drug peddler said.
A large chunk of the customers are youngsters some of whom, locals suspect, are students of nearby Dhaka Medical College, Dhaka University and Bangladesh University of Science and Technology.
“From university students to rickshaw-pullers, everyone comes here.Some even come in their cars,” says Nimtoli resident Tariqul Islam.
He also held the law enforcers largely responsible for letting the place becomes a hub for drug-trading.
“Such open drug-peddling may attract local youngsters to it,” said Nazrul Islam, who lives in Chankharpul.
“Drug traders, through installing CCTV cameras, keep a close watch on the movement of the law enforcers, so that they can carry on their illegal trade at various spots in the capital smoothly,” said DNC (operation) director Syed Taufiq Uddin Ahmed during a recent press briefing in the capital.
The striking teams broke 14 CCTV cameras installed at various drug spots, he said.
The number of drug addicts in the country has been estimated at 5000,000, he revealed. Eighty-five percent of them are youths, and 20 percent of the addicts are women, he informed.
Due to easy availability, youngsters, mostly school, college and university students are getting addicted to such drugs.
Like in urban areas, yaba is spreading fast in most of the rural areas in the country.
Many believe that due to the rising trend in drug addiction, criminal activities like murder, mugging, hijacking, robbery and stealing also high in different parts of the country including the capital.
It has been alleged that the law enforcers just play the role of on-lookers instead of taking action against the drug traders.
At times, the lawmen, just as an eyewash, conduct operations against the drug dealers, but most of the time the arrestees are released in exchange for money, it has been alleged.
RAB director (media) Wing Commander Mufti Mahmud Khan said a number of drug traders are being caught with various drugs from different parts of the country often.
“They are also being awarded various terms of imprisonment on charges of carrying drugs. But soon, they got released from the jail on bail and got involved in the same profession again,” he added.