Police Pursue Drug Traffickers After Big Bust in Shan State

By Htun Htun 30 May 2016

Two suspected criminals associated with a record seizure of 42.1 billion kyats (US$35.5 million) worth of drugs in a village in Shan State’s Kutkai Township are still at large, said the Kutkai Township Police Force.

A local drug enforcement squad seized over 21 million yaba pills, or methamphetamine,  worth 42.1 billion kyats from a 12-wheel semi-truck on May 28 en route from Kaung Kha, in Muse Township, to Kutkai. Aung Aung, the driver, was arrested.

One of the criminals, Liu Zhi Xiao, is a fugitive and is wanted by police for over 36 billion kyats (US$30.2 million) worth drugs seized on May 5 in Mandalay, according to the Burma Police Force.

“We’re still interrogating the driver,” police officer Ye Myint Thu of the Kutkai Township Police Force told The Irrawaddy.

The police believe this bust was part of the same drug trafficking ring that was caught with 600,000 yaba pills on March 3 in Rangoon.

“Drugs are readily available in some places here. Previously, drug deals were done in the countryside. But now, they’re done out in the open on some city streets,” said a Kutkai local who did not want to be named.

Rangoon police made the country’s largest ever seizure of narcotics in July last year, seizing 2.67 tonnes of methamphetamine tablets worth 133 billion kyats (nearly US$111.6 million) from a truck in Mingaladon Township in the outskirts of the former capital.

Translated from Burmese by Thet Ko Ko.