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Friday, Aug 23, 2019

Murshidabad emerging as transit point for Myanmar-made party drug, NCB officials suspect Rohingya hand in the chain

Two persons were arrested with the drug in August and November. They admitted that the consignments were meant for Bangladesh.

kolkata Updated: Nov 21, 2017 11:29 IST
Sumanta Ray Chaudhuri
Sumanta Ray Chaudhuri
Hindustan Times
Representational picture. The party drug Yaba is popular in Bangladesh since it is relatively cheaper than Meow Meow, Crack, Ecstasy, hashish and cocaine that are used in India.
Representational picture. The party drug Yaba is popular in Bangladesh since it is relatively cheaper than Meow Meow, Crack, Ecstasy, hashish and cocaine that are used in India. (HT Photo)

Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) officials suspect that the Bengal district of Murshidabad is emerging as transit point for a made-in-Myanmar party drug, Yaba, that mainly caters to the Bangladesh market, and that Rohingyas have a hand in smuggling it into Manipur from where it is coming to Bengal on its way to Bangladesh.

“The Manipur-based narcotics operators source these pills from the refugees and then transfer them to their agents in Murshidabad, who, in turn, distribute the drug in pockets of West Bengal and take them to Bangladesh, where Yaba is in high demand,” said an NCB official requesting anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the issue.

Read: Gujarat drug haul: NCB scans finances of Mumbai accused

These pills, containing a mixture of methamphetamine and caffeine, act as an addictive stimulant. Some of the consumers also use them for aphrodisiac effect.

The reason of its popularity in Bangladesh is because of the lack of other stimulant party or rave drugs used in India such as Meow Meow, Crack, Ecstasy, hashish and cocaine among others. Yaba is relatively cheap too.

NCB officials also said the drug is not smuggled into Bangladesh from the North East because the department is very active there, and the smugglers have a high chance of being nabbed.

Explaining their suspicion on Murshidabad turning into a transit point, the bureau’s director, (Kolkata Zone), D K Srivastava said on November 16, they arrested Moinul Haque, from Lalgola in Murshidabad district with 1,550 Yaba pills. The market value of these pills is about Rs 20 lakh.

Read: Drug dealers turning teens into addicts, then sellers: NCB

“The sleuths laid a trap late in the night of November 16 to nab Haque when he reached a particular spot to hand the pills over to Bangladeshi agents. On interrogation, Haque admitted that he has sourced the consignment of Yaba pills from Manipur,” said Srivastava.

In August NCB officials apprehended another Mohammad Sheikh, a resident of Bhagabangola in Murshidabad with the same pills that were valued at Rs 12 lakh.

Sheikh, too, admitted that the consignment was meant for Bangladesh, said Srivastava.

Murshidabad and Malda, two adjacent districts of Bengal are notorious for a range of activities such as smuggling of fake currency into India, narcotics, illegal cultivation of opium and smuggling of cows into Bangladesh.

On October 12, during a press conference in Cox’s Bazar, a port city of Bangladesh where Rohingya refugees from Myanmar are sheltered, Bangladesh road transport and bridges minister Obaidul Quader alleged that Yaba and weapons are entering Bangladesh along with Rohingya refugees fleeing Myanmar.

First Published: Nov 21, 2017 11:29 IST

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