Mon 18 Mar 2013
Filed under: Drugs,Inside Burma,News
Myanmar armed forces backed by police and customs officials have seized a huge cache of arms and narcotics from a hideout in the border town of Tamu in Sagaing Region.
Indian intelligence and Myanmar authorities both said last week that the weapons belonged to the United Peoples Party of Kangleipak (UPPK), a separatist rebel group based out of Manipur.
The seized arms included 48 AK-47 rifles, 30 heavy machine guns and six 9mm pistols. Five packages of heroin, 10 kg of methamphetamine pills and 20 bags full of Indian currency were also recovered.
On February 3, 21 UPPK fighters, including four women, fled from their camp in Myanmar, and were transferred to the Manipur police commandos at the border crossing from Tamu to Moreh.
However, controversy flared when a team of Assamese Rifles arrived and took custody of the 21 rebels just as they were being prepared for transfer to Imphal.
The 21 deserters were led self-styled Lt-Col. Mayengbam Kanthou who is said to be the former Chief of Staff of the UPPK.