Earlier, the 18 accused were taken to the court from Cox’s Bazar jail by a prison van. The remaining 83 accused are on the run.

Among the accused in hiding, at least 12 are the close relatives of former member of parliament (MP), Abdur Rahman Bodi, including his four brothers Abdur Sukkur, Abdul Amin, Md Faisal and Shafiqul Islam, cousins Md Alam, Mong Mong Sing, Kamrul Islam and nephew Shahedur Rahman Nipun.     

The accused in the case are the home ministry listed yaba paddlers and godfathers -- who have been behind bars since 16 February in 2019.

A total of 102 yaba peddlers in Teknaf surrendered to police at Teknaf Pilot High School ground on 16 February in 2019 in presence of home minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal. After their surrender, a case was filed with Teknaf police station under narcotics and arms act.

Of them, an accused, Md Rasel, died while undergoing treatment in the hospital on 7 August in 2019.