Buthidaung Police Seize Nearly 1 Million Ya Ba Pills from River Vessel

By Min Aung Khine 2 November 2018

SITTWE—Police seized 975,000 methamphetamine (or “ya ba”) tablets with an estimated value of 1 billion kyats in Rakhine State’s Buthidaung Township on Thursday.

Acting on a tip-off, police found the “WY”-stamped tablets hidden beneath fish packed in cooler boxes on the river-going vessel Aung Kyaw Moe, which travels between Sittwe and Buthidaung.

“In response to a tip-off, we searched the vessel and found tablets hidden beneath fish [packed in boxes]. The suspects are still at large,” Police Major Kyaw Thu Win, commander of Buthidaung Township police force, told The Irrawaddy.

“We are identifying the consignor and consignee,” he added.

The vessel transports passengers and cargo between Sittwe and Buthidaung, and police are currently interrogating those responsible for the consignment of the cargo.

The drug haul follows the seizure of 1,400,000 “WY” tablets with an estimated value of 4.3 billion kyats on Aug. 25, and a record bust involving 2,900,000 WY tablets worth 5.7 billion kyats on Oct. 22 in Buthidaung.

Rakhine State Police reported 124 drug cases from January through the second week of August this year, in which 188 suspects were arrested and “WY” tablets and marijuana with a street value of 1.28 billion kyats were seized. Most of the busts were made in Sittwe, Maungdaw and Buthidaung townships.