Rangoon Police Make Drug Bust Linked to Massive July Narcotics Haul

By Htet Naing Zaw 6 August 2015

RANGOON — An investigation by Rangoon police into the seizure last month of more than US$100 million worth of methamphetamine pills led police to a house in North Dagon Township this week, where they seized an additional 1.5 million stimulant tablets worth an estimated 7.5 billion kyats ($6.1 million).

Police raided three houses in Rangoon’s North Dagon Township in connection with the owner of the abandoned shipping truck that the massive narcotics haul was found in last month, discovering the much smaller stash on Monday at a house in Ward 41, North Dagon Township police said.

The owner of the home was not at the residence, but some renting tenants were, police said, declining to reveal whether the tenants were being investigated in connection with the find.

The packaging of the latest seizure was similar to that of the nearly 27 million methamphetamine tablets discovered on July 26 in Rangoon’s Mingaladon Township, and the suspected owner of the shipping truck Hla Maung remains at large, the head of the North Dagon Police Force, Police Maj. Hla Than, told The Irrawaddy.

“As we were investigating the drug seizure in Mingaladon, we found the company address of truck owner Ko Hla Maung and traced it to his house in North Dagon. We busted his house and found yellow bags that were packed similarly to bags seized on the truck,” said Hla Than, adding that the pills seized were branded with a “WY” logo.

Hla Maung runs a nominal fishing company under the name KTT, police said.

“The stimulant tablets were placed together with bags of dried tea leaves in a shed beside the house. The tablets are pink in color and were packed in canvas bags,” Hla Than said.

Police also raided two other houses in North Dagon Township Ward Nos. 40 and 29 on Monday, but said they found nothing illicit. The houses’ owners are believed to have fled.

“Now we are searching for and piecing together the clues. As the amount of the seizure is huge, we are taking actions in collaboration with other drug squads. Piecing the names of house owners together, they could be brothers,” Hla Than said, adding that the investigation is ongoing.