Sayeed Muhammad of DOT
Duplex mansions, mostly in the middle of farmland, forest or just beside the road, along the 13km road stretching from Teknaf Zero Point to Shah Porir Island in Cox’s Bazar will leave many surprised. The landlords do not stay there any longer as they are either on the run or in a police-protected house in Cox’s Bazar, reports The Daily Star.
But the business is running as usual in the so called yaba villages named Nazirpara, Moulvipara and Jailapara, where agents are taking care of the assets and running the illicit trade of the house owners.
The agents do so in the guise of labourers, rickshaw-pullers or tea-sellers and update the yaba lords on movement of law enforcers.
“Everyone in the villages knows what they actually do but you will have a hard time making them talk,” said a shop owner in Noyapara Bazar of Teknaf.
“If someone is found to have leaked information, he or she could be targeted and attacked,” he said, wishing anonymity.
Sources say each yaba dealer and smuggler of the area has five to six agents who are paid Tk 10,000 to Tk 20,000 monthly for looking after the assets and “business” of the godfathers.
Most people in the villages were not willing to open up on Friday. However, a local said about the house owners, “They went into hiding after the law enforcers started the anti-narcotics crackdown. Some of them might come back after their agents assure them that it is safe now.”
Law enforcers in the last one month and a half demolished around 47 mansions in the yaba villages.
Sources said mansions of six yaba traders have been demolished, with lawmen setting 16 boats afire in Baharchhara Ghat and Mundir Dail areas.
Police, however, deny doing anything to the houses and boats.