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Defying the signal, the boatmen escaped towards the Myanmar border after disposing of four sacks wrapped in plastic into the sea, Munif Taki said.

“Later, the coast guard members seized the sacks and found them to have contained 780,000 yaba tablets. The seized tablets are being handed over to Teknaf Model police station,” he added.

Yaba – a mixture of methamphetamine and caffeine sold as cheap red or pink pills – first found in Bangladesh in 2002, and its use have steadily risen since then.

Manufactured illegally in industrial quantities in Myanmar, it is smuggled into Bangladesh in the far southeast of the country, where the border partly follows the Naf river.

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