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Korean aid worker caught with drugs in Taungoo

South Korean Sangbeom Lee (right), a coordinator at the Vigen Myanmar charity group in Taungoo, is apprehended with bags of amphetamine pills on 19 October 2016. (PHOTO: DVB)

A South Korean national has been caught with more than 1,600 amphetamine pills in Taungoo, Pegu Division.

Local police and military intelligence officials said that, based on a tip-off, they searched a minivan yesterday at a tollgate outside the town. On the back seat, they found a bag containing 1,678 ya-ba pills. The vehicle was being driven by South Korean Sangbeom Lee, a coordinator at Vigen Myanmar, a free charity clinic in Taungoo.

Officers subsequently searched Lee’s rented house in the town and found seven more pills in his bedroom. He now faces two charges under Articles 15 and 19(a) of the 1993 Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Law, for failing to register as a drug user, and for possession of drugs with intent to sell, respectively. He could be sentenced to life in prison if found guilty.

Following Lee’s arrest, Vigen Myanmar released a statement, asserting that he committed these crimes of his own volition. It said that, as he has “disgraced” the company, Lee has been removed from his position as of 19 October.