After a bilateral talk with Myanmar, the Bangladesh anti-narcotics authorities Tuesday said they are optimistic over the neighbouring country's promises to check drug smuggling – specifically yaba pills.
The fourth virtual talk titled "Prevention of Illicit Trafficking in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances" between the Department of Narcotics Control (DNC) and Myanmar's Central Committee for Drug Abuse Control (CCDAC) emphasized joint border patrol and establishing border liaison offices.
We are quite optimistic about the promises from the Myanmar counterpart to curb the yaba inflow to Bangladesh, DNC Director General Ahsanul Jabbar told a media briefing at DNC headquarters in Dhaka Tuesday.
DNC DG said they told their counterpart that Bangladesh is not a drug producing country. Rather it is the victim of transnational syndicates as the country is used as a route to smuggle the crazy pills from Myanmar.
The anti-narcotics authorities of the neighbouring countries promised more intelligence sharing and intensifying vigilance in River Naf areas.
Bangladesh in the latest meeting once again provided its neighbour with intelligence on 49 hidden yaba-making labs in the Myanmar bordering areas. The same intelligence was shared seeking Myanmar's help in last 3rd bilateral meeting in 2017.
Quoting the counterpart, DNC DG Jabbar said Myanmar authorities said that they had carried out raids on different hidden labs in Maungdaw, Rakhine and Shan state based on Bangladeshi information.
''They shared anti-drug raid photos with us and informed about seizure of record number narcotics including yaba in 11 months of this year. They said they are also fighting against the same enemy. We are hopeful about the positive outcome of the promises,'' he added.
In the conference, Myanmar authorities informed Bangladeshi that they had seized over 31 crore yaba pills and filed 7,549 cases in those drives, said Manjurul Islam, a deputy director of DNC.
Joint border patrol, more liaison offices proposed
In the conference, Myanmar showed interest over joint border patrol and establishing more border liaison offices to stop smuggling of contraband yaba pills into Bangladesh.
However, Bangladeshi officials who joined the bilateral talk confirmed The Business Standard that there are already two separate liaison offices in both countries – established in Myanmar's Maungdow Township on 15 October, 2018 and Bangladesh's Teknaf on 24 July, 2018.
Even with the offices in place, no bilateral meeting was held in last two years, said the officials wishing anonymity.
Though the conference talked about introducing joint border patrol by the Border Guard Bangladesh and Myanmar's Border Guard Police, they could not reach a decision over initiating date.
DNC DG at the conference said they have increased vigilance along with other intelligence agencies. He sought strong and swift action from Myanmar for checking yaba smuggling.
The next meeting is scheduled to be held in Myanmar when the pandemic-led crisis eases.