'Smugglers in Tripura switching from cannabis to Yaba'

'Yaba', the Thai word for "crazy medicine," is a tablet form of methamphetamine, a powerful stimulant and caffeine

Yaba tablets (DH photo)

Trans-border smugglers active in Tripura are switching from cannabis to 'Yaba' tablets due to a crackdown on cannabis cultivation, a top BSF official said.

Inspector General of Border Security Force (BSF),Tripura Frontier, Solomon Yash Kumar Minz told a press conference on Thursday, with the law enforcing agencies taking strict action against cannabis cultivation in the state, smugglers are now eyeing 'Yaba' tablets.

'Yaba', the Thai word for "crazy medicine," is a tablet form of methamphetamine, a powerful stimulant and caffeine. These synthetically produced pills are available in a variety of flavours including grape, orange and vanilla and colours mostly reddish orange or green.

"Now the smugglers are more interested in smuggling 'Yaba' tablets as it brings good money and is easier to smuggle," he said.

The BSF seized items worth Rs 32.92 crore, smuggled through Tripura's borders this year, of which 'Yaba' tablets worth Rs 17.57 crore were recovered. The 'Yaba' tablet seizure was almost double than that of the previous year.

" We have seized 8,292 kg cannabis this year with an approximate market value of Rs 4.86 crore," he said.

Altogether 1.73 lakh Yaba tablets were seized in 2018, the estimated cost of which was Rs 8.64 crore in the market, he said.

The BSF IG said, 'Yaba' tablets transported from Myanmar border enter the northeastern states of Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura and are then smuggled to Bangladesh.

To a question he said, "We cannot say where 'Yaba' tablets are manufactured. There is no manufacturing unit of such tablets in Tripura.

"This state is mostly a transit route for smuggling 'Yaba' tablets to Bangladesh. We cannot rule out the possibility of our youth adopting this narcotic. So, we want to stop its entry here, the official said. 

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