Yaba trafficking must be stoppedby Md Atikur Rahman
YABA, the Thai word for ‘crazy medicine’, is a round pill. They are bright, red, orange or lime green in colour and carry logos such as ‘R’ or ‘WY’. Each pill is small, roughly six millimetres in diameter, and easily transportable. There are many different ways to inhale the drug, including fashioning water funnels, called turbo, out of empty water/glass bottles attached to straws and aluminium foil. The most common method of using yaba is oral ingestion. Tablets can also be crushed into a powder and either snorted or mixed with a liquid and injected. In addition, tablets can be heated on aluminium foil to produce a vapour to be inhaled.
During World War II, armed forces of the United States, Great Britain, Germany and Japan, used yaba to fight fatigue and enhance performance. After the war, yaba became available to the public over the world. The United War State Army, the largest drug trafficking organisation in Burma, is currently believed to be the primary manufacturer of yaba in Southeast Asia and Thailand is the primary market for these tablets. Yaba is a powerful central nervous system stimulant with longer lasting effects than those of cocaine. This is because cocaine is metabolised in the body more quickly than methamphetamine.
Today yaba tablets are getting increasingly popular among young people all over the world including Bangladesh. The government needs to realise the matter that our young generation are gradually ruining themselves as well as their families and the whole nation.
Now Bangladesh is a safe route for yaba drug dealers because the country has been illegally used as a transit point for trafficking yaba in many Southeast Asian markets. Most of the yaba comes from neighbouring country Myanmar and also Laos. Yaba tablets are trafficked and smuggled into Bangladesh through vast border areas, water-ways and air-ways. The drug is being trafficked to outside developed world through roadways and ships. Among the trafficking routes to Bangladesh, the vast forests and terrain areas of hill tracts and the Bangladeshi, Myanmar and Thai fishing trawlers are being safely used for trafficking the drug to Bangladesh.
Bangladesh is currently emerging as one of the leading drug consumption country. Two potential factors are contributing to the growing trend of drug consumption. First, the illegal dishonest connection at law order forces with smugglers and second, the geographical position of Bangladesh, which is very suitable for drug dealers to be the country for international route. Information has it, almost fifty routes at the borders in our country are being used for the drugs to enter . They are Golden Triangle, Golden Wage and Golden Crescent, hence Bangladesh has become a primary choice for international drug dealers. The drug cartels smuggle amphetamines into Bangladesh from Burma and India, and supply them to different parts of the country using a strong chain of dealers.
The international drug syndicates use Bangladesh as a transit country to move narcotics from Burma to different destinations. A sector of dishonest traders and international gangs are involved in illegal yaba drug peddling. They employ young boys and girls, mostly students to conduct their business.
In recent times, yaba tablets are also being manufactured at home. Many drug addicts now prefer Yaba tables to other types of drugs because of their stimulating effects and increasing availability in the country. Yaba tablets were first brought to Bangladesh from Chiang Mai, the northern city of Thailand in 1990, but trading of the drug started to spread in 2000 due to a lack of law enforcement by the authorities concerned. In 2011, yaba consumption was made fashionable by and for the affluent individuals in the society. A series of highly publicised drug raids in 2007 by authorities implicated the involvement of some well known business people.
An internal security report revealed that the yaba flooded the country due to lax security. A large number of women, student, teenage boys & girls are also involved with the selling of the drug. Various types with different prices of yaba are available in the country. A yaba tablet is currently sold at anything between Tk. 350 and Tk. 600, depending on its type. Due to the wide availability of the sexually arousing tablets, youths are becoming highly addicted to it. Consequently, they are falling prey to serious physical and psychological health hazards and being affected by different complex diseases like kidney and liver infection, sleeping problems and lower back pain, etc. Hair loss can also be an indicator of a long term user, either as a direct result of the drug intake, or indirectly through the user becoming withdrawn and anxious and contracting behavioural habits, such as hair pulling.
The yaba drug is increasingly posing a great threat to the valuable lives of our young generation. They are being completely manipulated and exploited through drugs. To save our young generations, our future leaders, the government needs to focus on the steps through which the accessibility of the drug to young people can be zeroed.
In order to achieve this, the government has to ensure a strong grip of law and order and security forces across the borders so that illegal drugs cannot enter into our country so easily. Upon catching the traders involved in drug trafficking, punishment of the highest order needs to be handed over. Within the country, police and other state security forces should perform their role much more honestly to wipe out different drug selling and consumption spots. State security forces must be mobilised to conduct undercover operations and frequent raids for arresting the criminals red-handed. No favouritism or leniency should be shown to individuals caught with drug dealing due to political linkages or because of their economic power. People in general should also be highly conscious about yaba, spread the awareness and raise a unique voice against it.
Md Atikur Rahman is a librarian at BGMEA University of Fashion & Technology (BIFT) and a columnist based in Dhaka. email@example.com
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YABA, the Thai word for ‘crazy medicine’, is a round pill. They are bright, red, orange or lime green in colour and carry logos such as ‘R’ or ‘WY’. Each pill is small, roughly six millimetres in diameter, and easily transportable. Full story
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