Myanmar Military Seizes US$64M of Drugs in Shan State

By Htet Naing Zaw 4 March 2020

NAYPYITAW—The Myanmar military has said it seized over 91 billion kyats (US$64,017,500) of narcotics, precursor chemicals and related equipment at Kaungkha Village in Shan State’s Kutkai Township between Friday and Tuesday.

The township is the constituency of current Union Parliament Speaker T Khun Myat.

According to the military, it found 38 billion kyats-worth of drugs and precursor chemicals in empty buildings around Kaungkha from Feb. 28 to March 1, followed by a 5-billion-kyat seizure on Monday and a 53-billion-kyat seizure on Tuesday.

“That area is a border area where various armed groups are active, including people’s militias, so it is difficult to say who those drugs belong to,” said military spokesperson Brigadier General Zaw Min Tun. “We will keep implementing security measures in the surrounding areas.”

Union Parliament Speaker T Khun Myat, who was previously a people’s militia leader in Kutkai, contested the 2010 election on the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) ticket as an executive member in northern Shan State and secured a Lower House seat. The National League for Democracy boycotted the 2010 poll on the grounds that the electoral laws were unjust.

He retained his seat in the Lower House in the 2015 election and was elected deputy speaker. He resigned from the USDP in 2017 and became the Parliament speaker the following year, when U Win Myint resigned as speaker to become the President of Myanmar.

Among the seizures in T Khun Myat’s constituency were heroin, Ya Ba pills, gas cylinders, glass tubes, acid, barrels and related equipment.

In June last year, the Myanmar military seized over 6-billion-kyats-worth of Ya Ba pills and precursor chemicals at Shan State’s Tachileik on the Myanmar-Thai border.

Translated from Burmese by Thet Ko Ko.

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