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Bangladesh versus Yaba

Thousands of Bangladeshi addicts are hooked on Yaba - a mix of methamphetamine and caffeine. It is a powerful drug that gives big bangs for small bucks.

Thousands of Bangladeshi addicts are hooked on Yaba - a mix of methamphetamine and caffeine. It's a powerful drug that gives big bangs for small bucks. The Yaba epidemic has ripped through the population of Bangladesh, urban and rural, poor, middle-class and rich. This is a drug that's manufactured in industrial quantities in the jungles of neighbouring Myanmar. As the economy of Bangladesh has boomed, drug lords have worked to create new markets for their product. And the Rohingya crisis - when nearly a million fled Myanmar for Bangladesh - has created further opportunities for the traffickers, as desperate refugees have been employed as drug mules. The Bangladeshi Prime Minister, Sheikh Hasina, declared a 'war on drugs' last May. Thousands have been arrested. But critics see a disturbing trend - hundreds of suspected Yaba dealers have been killed by law enforcement.

Producer: Linda Pressly with Morshed Ali Khan

(Photo: Yaba pills being held by a drug-user. Credit: Ye Aung Thu/AFP)

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