Controversy surrounds drug haul
SATURDAY, 18 JULY 2009 17:04 S.H.A.N.
A week has passed since the biggest seizure in the Golden Triangle has been made by junta authorities in Tachilek, opposite Thailand’s Maesai, yet the big question is still being left unanswered, who or what tipped off the authorities, according to sources on the border.
While many believe it was the Chinese as they were the one who did it in 2005, when almost half a ton of heroin was seized near Mongpiang, 260 km northwest of Maesai, one seasoned security officer has a different answer: it was plain fluke.
“The leading truck had passed without being subject to inspection at the Loi Taw Kham checkpoint,” he said. “But when one of the officials waved down the following truck, the driver’s sidekick panicked and ran. That one stupid act brought the 400 km haul to a sad end (for the smugglers).”
The New Light of Myanmar reported yesterday that 340,000 speed pills along with 761 kg of heroin were seized in Tachilek on 10 July.
“Were they tipped in advance, the first truck wouldn’t have escaped,” he reasoned.
The truck owner Myint Swe and his driver who were in the leading truck reportedly disappeared following the mishap.
To the business circle in Tachilek, it appears druglord We Xuegang, wanted both in Thailand and the US on drug charges, must have used junta authorities to get rid of his business rivals. “The consignment was ordered by Ah Chang, Wei’s trusted aide,” said a trader. “The current price is $ 10,000 per kilo, but he had offered $ 10,200.”
Ah Fa aka Chen Tafa, a Kokang militia leader in Nakawngmu, Mongton township, was at first pinpointed as the owner of the shipment. “Now we know he’s only the middle man,” he said.
The journey was said to have started on 7 July from Namzang, where militia leader Zhou Sang of Nayai is running refineries. “The 4-day journey across the Salween, Mongton and Monghsat came to an end in Tachilek,” he quipped.
Prior to the latest seizure last week, the biggest haul in eastern Shan State was in September 2005, when 498 kg of heroin was discovered on the trucks owned by the United Wa State Army.