2.8 Billion Kyats Worth of Methamphetamine Pills Seized in Rakhine

By Min Aung Khine 20 October 2017

YANGON — Police seized 2.8 billion kyats (about US$2 million) worth of methamphetamine pills over two days in conflict-torn Maungdaw Township in Rakhine State.

Police collected information and acted on a tip-off to make arrests for drug smuggling, Police Lt-Col Nyan Win Oo of Maungdaw District Police Force told The Irrawaddy.

On Tuesday, police seized 0.9 billion kyats worth of tablets from a Daihatsu Hijet microvan on the highway in No. 5 Ward in Maungdaw, and also arrested a suspect.

The following day, police seized 1.9 billion kyats worth of tablets branded with a “WY” logo from a Nissan car heading from Buthidaung Township at the entrance to Maungdaw. Police arrested two suspects in the car but the man behind the wheel escaped.

A police dog sniffs a car to search for drugs. (Photo: Maungdaw District Police Force)

According to the police, the suspects are residents of Sittwe, Buthidaung and Maungdaw townships.

From January to the end of July, police seized 12.7386 billion kyats worth of  “WY” pills in Rakhine State, mostly in Sittwe and Maungdaw townships. Besides the pills, marijuana and other methamphetamines were seized in drug busts, according to the police.

According to the Rakhine Police Force, police arrested 106 persons—94 males and 12 females—in connection with those drug cases.

In earlier October, police seized more than three billion kyats (US$2.2 million) worth of pills from two Myanmar Army soldiers in Maungdaw.

Drug seizures have increased in Maungdaw, Buthidaung and Rathedaung townships near the Myanmar-Bangladesh border since last year, when more than 50 million “yaba” pills were seized in two separate drug busts in Maungdaw.

Police launched an anti-drug campaign called “Mayu” after the mountain range in Rakhine State in February, but drug cases are still rampant in the area.

Translated from Burmese by Thet Ko Ko.