A joint operation of Border Security Force (BSF) and DRI officials Friday recovered a massive cache of 1,68,500 yaba tablets — containing a mixture of methamphetamine and caffeine — worth over Rs 8.92 crore from Matinagar, a bordering village of Sipahijala district, 60 km from here. This drug haul is the largest-ever contraband seizure in Tripura.
The narcotics haul came after a tip off about a drug sale underway across the Tripura-Bangladesh border, BSF Deputy Inspector General AK Yadav told reporters Friday. The search started at 9pm Thursday night and ended around 1.30am.
“We have seized Rs 8.92 crore worth yaba tablets from Matinagar village in Sipahijala district. This is the biggest drugs seizure in a single go till now. It is likely these items were about to be smuggled into Bangladesh,” the BSF official said.
Yadav said BSF has seized Rs 34 crore worth of contraband drugs, including cannabis, yaba and phensidyle in 2019. However, the trend shows drug peddlers have shifted from smuggling cannabis to yaba tablets since these are small, nearly odourless and easily concealable.
Previously known as ‘yama’, Yaba is common in South and Southeast Asian countries. The pink tablet is consumed orally, heated and vaped, crushed and snorted and even injected after mixed in a solvent.
Their smuggling trail commonly originates in the Myanmar border and enters Indian territory via Manipur, Mizoram and are moved into Bangladesh through the semi-porous border of Tripura. Nicknamed the ‘madness drug’, Yaba was previously banned in Thailand and several other countries due to its severe adverse affects.
Tripura shares 856-km-long international border with Bangladesh, 67 km of which are still unfenced in patches.
Meanwhile, the Tripura Police arrested Saleah Ahmed of Assam’s Patherkandi village in possession of 9,800 Yaba tablets from Tarakpur in North district. North Tripura superintendent of police Bhanupada Chakraborty told this correspondent that the seized narcotics are estimated to have a market value of Rs 30 lakhs.