Another 2m Pills Tied to Mingaladon Drug Bust Seized

By May Sitt Paing 23 September 2015

RANGOON — Police have seized another large haul of stimulant tablets linked to a massive drug bust in Rangoon’s Mingaladon Township earlier this year, with a police officer in the commercial capital saying the new find came during a raid on a house of the key suspect in the case.

Police discovered nearly 2 million stimulant tablets and 500 bottles of phensedyl cough syrup—an addictive substance known to be used recreationally—on Monday at a home owned by Min Oo Khaing, a director of the Kaladan Delta Development Co., in East Dagon Township.

Min Oo Khaing is authorities’ primary suspect in an ongoing investigation of a July 26 drug bust, in which police found nearly 27 million methamphetamine tablets worth an estimated 133 billion kyats (US$103 million) left abandoned in the back of a truck in Mingaladon Township.

In a raid tied to the investigation, police last month seized an additional 1.5 million stimulant tablets from a house in North Dagon Township.

“We’re making continuous investigations,” a high-ranking police officer who asked that he not be identified told The Irrawaddy. “Roughly, we have inspected most of his [Min Oo Khaing’s] cars and houses. We’ll continue the investigation even if it is a trans-national crime. We have caught more suspects. However, we are not supposed to release information as we are still investigating the case.”

Min Oo Khaing surrendered to a Burmese anti-narcotics unit on Sept. 15 and Thai authorities were involved in the suspect’s arrest, according to police. He was apprehended in the Thai border town of Mae Sot and extradited to Rangoon.

Since the drug-laden truck was discovered in July, arrest warrants have been issued for 12 suspects, including Min Oo Khaing, and police are searching for the remaining suspects who remain at large.

On Sept. 14, the United States designated Burma as among 22 countries that are major illicit drugs producers or transit countries that “significantly affect the United States.”

A report on synthetic drugs in Southeast Asia published by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in May found Burma was “perceived to be the main country of origin for methamphetamine tablets seized throughout the Mekong sub-region and to some other parts of East and Southeast Asia.”

Translated by Thet Ko Ko.