Huge heroin haul in Tachileik
by Nem Davies
Friday, 17 July 2009 21:44
New Delhi (Mizzima) – Over 761 kilograms of heroin and several tablets of Amphetamine tablets were seized by the Burmese authorities from a Thai-Burma border town of Tachileik in eastern Shan State on July 10, according to the state-run media.
The junta’s mouthpiece, the ‘New Light of Myanmar’ newspaper on Thursday said, 340,000 tablets of Amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS) along with 761 kilograms of heroin were seized when the special task force to check narcotic drugs searched a Tachileik bound Nissan 6-wheel car coming from Mai Sat at the Lwe Taw Kham combined checkpoint.
It was learnt that 1281 pressed blocks (448.35 Kg) of heroin were hidden in 13 cardboard boxes tucked inside 10 polythene bags, and another 896 pressed-blocks (313.6 Kg) of heroin were found hidden inside seven polythene bags and three steel trunks. ATS tablets with WY label were found inside the two polythene bags, the paper said.
This is the biggest haul after 38 kilograms of heroin were found hidden inside teak logs from a cargo vessel in the Asia World port terminal in Rangoon in January.
Sein Kyi, an editor of the Chiang Mai based Shan Herald Agency for News (SHAN), said it is the biggest ever seizure of heroin on the Thai-Burma border road.
“Previous seizures of heroin were about 200-300 kilograms. We can say this is the biggest ever seizure of heroin,” said Sein Kyi, who has been monitoring drug trafficking along the Thai-Burma border.
“Drugs are usually trafficked to Laos and to other places via the golden triangle,” he added. According to a recent US narcotic drug trafficking report, Burma is the biggest producer of Methamphetamine tablets, and the major trafficking country in the region. It is also the second largest producer of opium in the world after Afghanistan.
Sein Kyi said, despite the Burmese government’s campaign against drugs, cultivation of poppy as well as production of synthetic drugs is rising.
“According to our statistics, the acreage is increasing again in 2008-09. It is still impossible to totally eliminate drugs in this region. They could probably contain the situation but only for a limited period. Like a balloon, if you press one side, the other side will expand,” he added.
SHAN has annually compiled statistics on the production of opium and synthetic drugs in Shan State, which is the state which produces the largest amount of drugs, and regularly releases drug reports.
Following the finding of a huge cache of heroin in Tachileik, driver Sai Tun Myint Oo, conductor Sai Win Aung and Mu Tuu are reportedly held and are under interrogation in order to blast the ring of traffickers, the junta’s newspaper said.
Similarly, 9,800 strips of Larfast D medicine containing Pseudoephdrine 120 mg, 4,268 strips of Acrifed medicine containing Pseudoephdrine 60 mg in each tablet were found hidden in Toyota Hilux pickup truck, driven by San Lwin at 3-mile checkpoint near Tamu on July 2, by the Tamu drug special task force in Sagaing Division, North-west Burma bordering India.
The paper said, the alleged drug trafficker is being detained and interrogated in order to further arrest his links.