Record Bust in Mandalay Nets $30m in Illicit Drugs: Police

By Zarni Mann 7 March 2016

MANDALAY — Police in Mandalay’s Pyigyidagun Township said drugs and precursor chemicals used in the production of heroin, worth more than 36 billion kyats (US$29.5 million), were seized over the weekend.

According to a law enforcement official from the Drug Elimination Police Force, three men were also arrested in connection with the seizure of methamphetamine tablets known regionally as “yaba” and a similar substance referred to as “ice,” heroin precursor chemicals and opium, with the contraband discovered at a compound in the Mandalay township’s industrial zone.

“The arrest is connected with the seizure of drugs and opium in Yangon [Rangoon]. The men we arrested in Yangon said they bought the drugs from Mandalay so we raided the compound and found these,” said deputy police Col. Myint Aung from the Drug Elimination Police Force’s Division 3.

Police are tying the Mandalay raid to drugs valued at more than 30 million kyats seized in Rangoon’s Mayangone and South Okalapa townships on Thursday of last week.

“We also found ammonium chloride, sodium carbonate, ammonium hydroxide, hydrochloride and many other chemicals at the Pyigyidagun compound, which are believed to be used in the production of heroin. We are investigating to unearth more drug producers and traffickers,” Myint Aung said.

Three vehicles found inside the compound were also seized. Police said drugs were being produced in the compound, the owner of which is being sought by authorities.

According to police, the seizure was the largest of its kind in Mandalay Division. The three men arrested at the compound are facing criminal charges for their alleged ties to the illicit narcotics uncovered over the weekend.