After wreaking havoc in the Middle-East and Southeast Asia, yaba, also known as the madness drug, is now making its way to the other side of the world – the United States (US) – via Bangladesh's postal service.
This seizure comes less than two months after more than 38,000 yaba pills – bound for the Middle-East hidden in apparel exports – were seized at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport (HSIA).
The members of Dhaka Metropolitan Police's (DMP) Khilgaon zone arrested four individuals, allegedly involved in yaba peddling, on Sunday around midnight, in the capital's Rampura area.
The arrestees are: Md Nahid Parvez Tahin, Md Mizanur Rahman Jewel, Md Enam Hossain Khan Rahat and Razib Hawlader. Also, 80 yaba pills were seized from their possession.
After taking the arrestees to Khilgaon Police Station, police found a receipt of the Bangladesh Postal service which shows some garment items were being shipped to New York City from Dhaka.
During primary interrogation, Razib Hawlader – who had the receipt – admitted that they had booked a parcel of 3.34 kilogrammes of ready-made garment items, in which they planted the yaba pills.
The receipt number is CP404321219BD, and the parcel was being sent to a person who lives on 43rd Street, Woodside in New York.
Later, on Monday morning, Md Zulfiqar Ali, assistant commissioner of DMP's Khilgaon zone, enquired at the Dhaka General Post Office (GPO) to track the international parcel, which had already been sent to the HSIA Cargo Village for shipment.
Immediately, the police official reached the GPO authorities and with their support, they reached the airport on Monday around noon.
After several hours of searching for the parcel, they found four jeans pants and one three-quarter pant.
Amid the thorough search, the DMP team and Postal Service officials found a narrow hole beneath the linings of those pants and found around thirty single poly stripes which were full of yaba pills.
From these poly stripes, a total of 2,040 yaba pills were found.
When asked, Zulfiqar Ali told The Business Standard that initially they assumed the arrestees were petty drug peddlers who only trade in the capital.
"After getting the international parcel receipt, we suspected something special and later found that they were involved smuggling yaba to the US, too. Recovering the yaba from the airport was stressful as we had not witnessed such incidents before," he added.
"We are investigating the matter thoroughly, including if they had sent yaba to the US earlier. And we will also investigate the receiver mentioned on the parcel receipt," the police official further said.
"We can provide the detailed information after a thorough interrogation of the arrestees," Zulfiqar Ali further added.
Police said they will send a letter to the immigration department regarding the details of the mentioned recipient.
Khandker Shahnur Sabbir, senior postmaster of Dhaka GPO, was also present during the drive in HSIA.
He told TBS that they were astonished after the seizure of yaba pills from the international parcel services which was bound for New York, where the majority of the members of Bangladeshi community live.
"We have no information about if there were such consignments before. And we will remain careful about such matters in the future," he said.