The Irrawaddy

Eight Arrested, Drug Houses Torn Down in Raid by Mandalay Police

MANDALAY — Mandalay police arrested eight men, seized a small amount of heroin and destroyed a number of drug houses during a raid on a notorious drug-dealing location in Patheingyi Township on Friday.

The raid, conducted by a joint force comprising anti-narcotics and regional police, followed the appearance of a video clip, widely circulated on social media, showing drug dealers apparently operating freely out of several locations in Zee Oak village.

After the raid, 12 locations used as drug houses were ripped down, police said.

According to Police Colonel U Myo Aung, chief of Mandalay District Police, the posting of the video online limited the number of arrests made during the raid. “It appears the drug smugglers were alerted to our impending raid. News of the drug houses was spread over social media, so we have only made eight arrests and seized a small amount of heroin so far,” he said.

According to police, Zee Oak village is known as a hub for drug dealing, but the higher-level drug dealers have proved elusive.

Mandalay police arrested eight men and destroyed a number of drug houses during a raid on a notorious drug-dealing location in Patheingyi Township on Friday. / Zaw Zaw / The Irrawaddy

“We have raided the area several times, but the main drug dealers and drug users always escape,” said Col U Myo Aung. “We suspect someone is tipping suspects off about the police raids.”

“The drug dealers typically return to the area at some point after the crackdowns. When we show up, they disappear. This pattern repeats and we have not been able to arrest large numbers of them,” he said.

Two drug dealers and six drug users who were arrested in Friday’s crackdown are in police custody and have been charged under the anti-narcotics law.