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Police seize drugs worth over $1 million in Shan and Karen State

Chemicals and drugs seized in Shan State. (Photo: DVB)

Drugs worth approximately 1.6 billion kyat ($1.15 million USD) were seized in Shan State over the weekend.

Anti-narcotics task force officers searched a Toyota vehicle at a border post in Loilem township, about 60 kilometres east of Taunggyi on June 23 and found 16,000 methamphetamine pills under the back seat.

The driver of the vehicle, identified as Aung Myo, was also apprehended with 1kg of high grade crystal amphetamine in his possession.

In the afternoon police then searched a temporary shelter in a deep gorge in Mabein Township where they arrested a man, Nyi Than Win, in possession of drugs.

Authorities found 800,000 pills of methamphetamine packed in woven sacks and 1.72kg of opium in 172 soap cases, which were kept in a pit in the shelter.

Nyi Than Win and Aung Myo have been charged under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Law.

In a separate case last Friday 1,695 methamphetamine pills were seized in Hpa An, Karen State in the home of Naing Kyaw Myint. Three hundred methamphetamine pills had also been seized the previous day in the vehicle of Naing Kyaw Myint during a car search.

The Ministry of Home Affairs announced a massive seizure last week of drugs worth 900 million kyat (approximately $650,000 USD), from northern Shan State townships Naing Cho and Hopin.

Local authorities and police found 7.26 kilos of opium and 378,000 pills of methamphetamine in the luggage of Myint Thu and Aye Sai Moon. Gold, cash, and mobile phones were also taken as evidence.

Tackling the illicit drug trade in Burma was discussed at a conference in Naypidaw last month. Senior drug policy leaders from the Mekong region – Cambodia, China, Lao, Burma, Thailand and Vietnam — reviewed problems around law enforcement, justice, health and alternative development strategies.

Deputy Home Minister Major General Aung Soe emphasised that the drug problem isn’t just a national issue, but also involves regional partners.

He stated,  “This meeting is a step forward, allowing us to discuss issues and priorities with our neighbours and UNODC, including improving law enforcement cooperation and standards for community based drug treatment.”