Yaba kings still rule

Action against Yaba godfathers, who turned multi-millionaires overnight, is still not visible despite police sending detailed information of top-listed Yaba godfathers to the Anti-Corruption Commission(ACC). As a result, some Yaba godfathers in association with their associates are also controlling the racket from abroad. Sometimes, they are running their Yaba syndicates from Malaysia, Dubai and Myanmar, sources disclosed.

Mir Kashem, hailing from Uttar Lombirpar under Teknaf Sadar Upazila of Cox’s Bazar district became multi-millionaire overnight. He now possesses around Tk 500 crore, but surprisingly, leads a very simple life. His attire depicts him ‘ultra-poor’. He always wears torn and shabby clothes. He never wears pants but lungis and torn shirts.

Nobody will believe that he is a top-listed Yaba godfather in the Home Ministry list. According to local sources, Kashem accumulated a huge sum of wealth in last ten years through Yaba smuggling. Like him, most of the Yaba godfathers amassed huge wealth. Though the government has declared war against Yaba, the wealth of the drug traders has not decreased.

Local people alleged that the lifestyle of the Yaba godfathers of Teknaf area, from town to the remote areas, is totally different from any ordinary people of the district. They have no financial scarcity. Most of them have palace-like luxurious houses. They spend crores of taka in constructing the houses. But their neighbors disclosed that once upon a time, they could not even manage a meagre meal. Through the illegal business, they now have become multi-millionaires.

Saiful Karim, his brothers Ziaul Karim and Mahbubul Karim are the top level Yaba godfathers among all the Yaba godfathers of the country. The three were arrested with firearms and Yaba last week by Teknaf police. Only fifteen years ago, they were unable to live even from hand to mouth. But now they have become multi-millionaires. Saiful is regarded as the top Yaba godfather in the list of the Home Ministry. After law enforcing agencies started their massive operation against the drug mafia, Saiful left the country secretly.

He is controlling Yaba smuggling sometimes from Malaysia, Dubai and Myanmar, his close sources said. He became owner of luxurious apartment, cars in different parts of the country including Dhaka, Chattogram, Cox’s Bazar. He has a luxurious palace in Shilbonia area of Teknaf. The market price of the luxurious house is at least Tk 30 crore. He has also a hotel in Cox’s Bazar and land worth four hundred crore.

Listed Yaba godfathers Abdus Shokkur, Abdul Amin, Faisal Rahman, are all brothers of former Awami League lawmaker Abdur Rahman Badi. Badi's sister Nurjahan and nephew Shahed Rahman are also multi-millionaires. Except for Badi’s sister Nurjahan, all surrendered to police recently. But Nurjahan still leads the Yaba smuggling. Some local people alleged that the family members of Badi were engaged in Yaba smuggling with the support of Badi himself.

It is widely alleged that before surrendering to the police, Yaba godfathers had financial dealings with a section of corrupt officers of law enforcement. They regularly smuggled Yaba after heavily bribing the corrupt cops. There are several cases against all of them. Nurul Huda, another influential Yaba godfather, was once the helper of a local bus. Now he also has become a multi-millionaire. After surrendering to police, he is now in jail. He started Yaba trading in 2010. Only within eight years, he became one of the richest men of Teknaf. Not only this, he became a people’s representative.

He has wealth of more than Tk 200 crore. Yaba godfather Ziaur Rahman of Nazirapara area of Teknaf had become a multi-millionaire overnight from Yaba smuggling. He has wealth of Tk 300 crore. He has a two-storied building in his locality. The house was built for at least Tk 3 crore. He was killed in a gunfight with law enforcers recently. He has several flats in Chattogram and Cox’s Bazar.

Nusrat, a female councilor of Teknaf Municipal Corporation has a luxurious apartment at Jaliapara of Teknaf, and two car showrooms in Teknaf. Ekram Hossain alias Pichchi Ekram alias Hafez Ekram started Yaba snuggling in 2010. Currently he is controlling Yaba rackets from Myanmar. He bought wealth of two hundred crore in different areas including Moulvibazar Municipal Corporation.

Shamsul Alam alias Kana Shamshu, hailing from Mithapanir Chora area of Teknaf, was once a fisherman. He now possesses Tk 30 crore from the Yabe trade in the last ten years. Ziaur Rahman and Abdur Rahman, brothers of Teknaf Upazila BNP General Secretary Abdullah, are now owners of Tk 200 crore from Yaba smuggling. Zakir Hossain hailing from Ghonar area of Teknaf also became owner of Tk 50 crore through the drug business.

 He has a palace-like apartment in his area. Besides, he has several flats in Cox’s Bazar and Chattogram. He always moves in a Toyota Premio brand car worth Tk 28 lakh. Kamal Hossain of the same area is also involved in Yaba smuggling for a long time. After becoming owner of millions of illegal taka, he escaped to Saudi Arabia. Badi’s cousin MongMong was arrested several times by the law enforcing agencies.

District Additional SP, Md Iqbal Hossain, on Thursday said, “We have already sent the detailed information about the illegal wealth of the Yaba godfather. But I do not know what steps they are going to take in this regard.” Responding to a query he said, “We sent the written information in March this year.” There was adequate information. I have come to know that the Anti-Corruption Commission is currently studying the information, the second in command of the district police added.