Lashio Residents Hope Slashings Will Stop After Drug Bust

By Moe Myint 4 May 2016

RANGOON — Counter-narcotics police in Lashio, Shan State, raided a drug trafficking camp early Wednesday morning, arresting 46 alleged drug traffickers and seizing methamphetamine pills, hypodermic needles, machetes and swords, according to Aung Myat Moe, a deputy colonel of the Shan State Police.

The camp was located near Ma Nar village, eight miles outside of Lashio town. The state police officer said authorities were still cataloguing the confiscations and that an investigation had been launched. He declined to provide additional details about the arrests.

Police forces burned down the camp’s 11 tents after arresting the people who had been allegedly using it as a base to trade drugs. They also seized more than 30 soap containers of opium, 80 bottles of cocaine and nearly 3,000 methamphetamine pills. The police have not yet calculated the total value of the seizure.

“We believe that some of the culprits also committed machete attacks,” the state police colonel said.

Ko Thet, a Lashio resident, said he assumed those apprehended had been responsible for several savage attacks recently, in which roadside assailants slashed bags from the backs of motorcyclists before disappearing into the jungle.

“Residents are very happy,” Ko Thet said. “Recently people have been frightened to walk alone at night.”

In April, at least 20 locals were wounded in machete and sword attacks in Lashio Township, said Sai Myint Maung, a National League for Democracy (NLD) member who unsuccessfully contested a regional legislature seat in the township in last November’s election.