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Rohingya militancy group ARSA silently gets organized

Rohingya refugees, Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army, ARSA, Rohingyas, Bangladesh, Yaba, Catagon, Saudi Arabia, Hezbollah, Hamas, Iranian proxy network, Mexico, Colombia, Dawood Ibrahim, D Company


Rohingya militancy group ARSA silently gets organized

Over one million Rohingya refugees, who fled extreme persecution in Myanmar may now pose serious threat to regional and international security. According to a vernacular news portal, the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army or ARSA, which was formerly known as Harakahal-Yaqin has already turned into real nightmare to majority of the Rohingyas and Bangladeshi citizen.

Dhaka Post reporters Adnan Rahman and Joshim Uddin in their report said, Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) has already recruited over two thousand members from the Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, where it has approximately 150 female jihadists. Majority of the ARSA recruits are based in Kutupalong and Balukhali areas in Cox’s Bazar and Teknaf district.


The report claimed, ARSA members are collecting weapons and explosives in exchange for narcotics. It may be mentioned here that, Myanmar is one of the major manufacturers of Yaba pills (also known as methamphetamine and captagon pills).

Yaba has one too many nicknames to keep up with, but this little red tablet, regardless of its name, was outlawed in Thailand in the early 1970s. Otherwise known as the madness drug or Nazi speed, is a combination of a number of stimulants. The two main substances that make up the drug are caffeine and methamphetamine, otherwise known as crystal meth.


During the recent years, use of Yaba has become rampant in a number of countries including Bangladesh, India, Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia, while it has massive demand in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah has been mainly pushing yaba pills inside Saudi Arabia mostly by hiding inside various edible and non-edible consignments, including fruits and vegetable. Hezbollah also started sending yaba to South American nations, mainly, Mexico and Colombia. According to media reports, during the recent months mega-terror outfit Hamas has also aligned with Iranian proxy network, joining hands with Hezbollah and Houthis. It is anticipated, Hamas too has joined the multi-billion-dollar narco-trade.

In Myanmar, the main buyer of yaba has been Dawood Ibrahim’s infamous D-Company, while Pakistani spy agency ISI was also having involvement in transnational trafficking of yaba pills. Later, Hezbollah had emerged into the major buyer of yaba pills from the Myanmar underworld. According to information, a section of Myanmar’s senior military officials are running most the yaba manufacturing factories.


ARSA getting financial support from terror-patron nations

According to sources, members of ARSA are already taking secret preparation of establishing their total control over Cox’s Bazar district in Bangladesh and finally proclaim it as an ARSA Caliphate.

Dhaka Post report claims, it has received video statement of several ARSA members who have claimed Cox’s Bazar district in Bangladesh as “part of Arakan”. They said, Rohingyas will permanently stay in Cox’s Bazar and ultimately take control of the area.


Members of ARSA have already started collecting extortions from Bangladeshi citizen by abducting them, almost on a regular basis. At the same time, ARSA members are involved in dealing in yaba as well as selling Rohingya girls and women to various brothels or human trafficking rackets in India and other countries.

A source claimed, the number of ARSA girls and women in various brothels in India are on rise, while a significant number of the ARSA terrorists are entering Indian brothels under the disguise of sex workers. It also said, while hundreds of Rohingya female are also getting employed as housemaids in a number of Middle Eastern countries, they pose threat to internal security of the recruiting countries. These Rohingyas travel to recruiting countries mostly via India and Pakistan with local passports. Organized crime rackets are involved in managing passports for Rohingya females by bribing the passport authorities of the countries concerned.


Another source said, ARSA has established connections with mega-terror outfit Hamas with the target of getting weapons and explosives in exchange for narcotics and cash. Meanwhile, at least 25 ARSA members currently are getting training from Hamas on making explosives and time bombs. Hamas also is giving orientation to these Rohingya ARSA members on suicide bomb attacks.

Myanmar sets up mobile phone tower near Bangladesh

Myanmar military junta with the motive of having access to the mobile phone communication of the Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh has set up a mobile phone tower covering 20 kilometers of range, which enables Rohingya refugees in using the service. According to Dhaka Post, distance of Hwang Kyung village is within just 10 kilometers of Bangladesh-Myanmar border. In Hwang Kyung, Myanmar’s state-owned mobile phone company ‘MPT’ has set up two powerful towers, enabling Rohingyas in easily using ‘MPT’ SIM cards in their mobile phones. Most of the members of trans-border drug trafficking racket as well as their Bangladeshi counterpart are using ‘MPT’ connections particularly for communicating on various criminal purposes, including yaba trafficking and trade. Myanmar authorities are fully aware of the multi-million-dollar yaba trade within Myanmar-Bangladesh border, while the military junta reportedly is rather encouraging the yaba smugglers in selling this drugs amongst Bangladeshi and Indian buyers in particular.


According to a credible source, while there was not even a single mobile phone tower of ‘MPT’ before August 2019, currently the Myanmar mobile phone operator has already set up more than a dozen mobile phone tower within Bangladesh-Myanmar border. It is also learned that the Myanmar mobile phone operator is looking for increasing the number of towers by the end of this year.

The source further said, ‘MPT’ SIM cards are sold within and outside Rohingya camps at the rate of BDT 400 each. Most of these SIM cards are pre-registered using names of Myanmar nationals. It is learned that, majority of the Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh are having ‘MPT’ SIM cards, while it is easily available in most of the local mobile phone stores in Bangladesh.


According to sources, each of the ‘MPT’ SIM cards are sold at BDT 40-50 in Myanmar, while it is sold by the traffickers at BDT 250-400. Each of the traffickers carry 300-400 SIM cards. Majority of the SIM cards are sold inside Balukhali and Kutupalong Rohingya camps during dark hours. The organized racket also extends services of re-charging these Myanmar SIM cards. Generally, Rohingyas dealing in ‘MPT’ SIM card recharge services receive cash in Bangladesh and send a message using Imo app. Then, from the other side, a 16 digit code is sent. As the ‘MPT’ user dials that number, a recharge is automatically completed.

The source further said, as ‘MPT’ offers cheaper internet package, this mobile SIM is even becoming popular amongst a section of local mobile phone users. According to source, speed of ‘MPT’ internet is 5 Gbps. On the other hand, Bangladeshi mobile phone operators provide a much lower internet speed in the region, as a result, even Bangladeshis in the region have started using MPT’s service.

Rohingya refugees not only are using ‘MPT SIM cards in Yaba trade and other illegal activities, it is also used by the members of ARSA is contacting relatives of the abducted individuals and for negotiation of extortion. The case is being further investigated and more reports and articles on it are coming up. Stay tuned!

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An internationally acclaimed multi-award-winning anti-militancy journalist, research-scholar, counter-terrorism specialist, and editor of Blitz. Follow him on Twitter Salah_Shoaib

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