Teknaf, Bangladesh: The Bangladesh Border Guard (BGB), formerly known as BDR (Bangladesh Rifles), seized 878 Yaba methamphetamine tablets at the Teknaf border area on July 24 at about 1 pm from a passenger bus going to Cox’s Bazaar from Teknaf, according to a BGB official.

“The BGB also arrested a drug trafficker from the bus named Mohamed Salim Meah (40), son of Mofez Uddin, who hails from Ali Khali village of Nila under Teknaf Upazila. The man has been involved for many years in drug trafficking.”

He was arrested from the Dum Dum Meah check-post, while the BGB personnel were checking the passenger bus and found him with said Yaba tablets.

After arrest, he was brought to Teknaf police station, where the BGB personnel opened a case with the Teknaf police station against the arrestee under the Narcotics Control Act No. 32, the BGB official said.

Yaba tablets from Burma have been smuggled into Bangladesh everyday through land routes and waterways. Though the Bangladesh authorities have been trying to stop the flow of the tablets to Bangladesh, they have largely failed. If Burma’s authorities stop their involvement in drug trafficking, the flow of Yaba tablets to Bangladesh will be stopped, said a local elder from Maungdaw who declined to be named for security reasons.

A police official from Teknaf said that sometimes drug traffickers swallow wrapped packages of Yaba tablets or insert them in their anus to avoid detection by authorities.

Concerned authorities in Cox’s Bazaar district have made several drug seizures in recent months. A cache of Yaba tablets worth 2.06 million taka was seized on October 21, 2010, by BDR’s Battalion No. 42 Rifles in Teknaf, said a trader from Teknaf who declined to be named.

“Bangladesh has become a prime destination for heroin and Yaba produced in Burma,” said an elder from Cox’s Bazaar who prefers not to be named.

He also added that Indian marijuana and Fensidar, a type of narcotic syrup, are also regularly trafficked into Bangladesh.