Driven out of Bangladesh, ‘crazy pill’ sellers now in NE


GUWAHATI, JUNE 7: Drug peddlers trading in Yaba (meaning ‘crazy pills’ in Thai) in Bangladesh are now making inroads into the Northeast to sell the drug as they are finding it difficult to conduct business in the neighbouring country owing to a crackdown on drug cartels there.
“The Yaba consignments that could not make their way to Bangladesh are now being sold in the back-alley markets of the state. Due to the crackdown on illicit drugs in Bangladesh, several cartels have also pumped their stocks into the region making the situation worse,” said a source.
Earlier, the popular methamphetamine-based drug used to be smuggled to Bangladesh from Myanmar through the Northeast. So far this year, Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB) have seized 5,297,234 number of Yaba pills.
Last week, the anti-smuggling unit of the customs division (Guwahati) seized one of the biggest shipments of synthetic drugs from 2 persons, including a woman from Manipur, in the Ganeshguri area. The seizure included at least 15,720 units of methamphetamine pills worth over Rs 1.5 crore. Customs sources said they had arrested the duo while they were on their way to hand over the drugs to local agents in the area.
The fear of a possible spillover of these narcotics into the region turned out to be true when a consignment of 4,566 Yaba tablets was seized in Meghalaya’s Garo Hills recently. It is one of the several consignments seized by forces guarding the borders of the Northeast.
Research has revealed that the immediate effects of taking Yaba are similar to those of any stimulant. A crystalline variant of this drug named ‘Ice’, made entirely of methamphetamine, having no fillers, also exists. The consumption of these drugs is believed to induce a state of euphoria among the users which they consider pleasurable or desirable. “Inhaling its fumes or snorting the crushed powder induces a hyper-alert state so exhilarating that users have been tempted to give up on even heroin and ganja,” a source said.
Regular intake of Yaba pills can cause permanent damage to the lungs, kidneys and blood vessels in the brain, which could cause stroke, cardiac arrest and even teeth decay. “Because of its negative effects, Yaba is sometimes called ‘bhul bhulaiya’ in India. Its rising popularity is a concern,” the source added. (TNN)