Drugs


A defendant in a drug trial was abducted from a police van while being transported from Shan State’s Taung Lay Lone Prison from a hearing at the Taunggyi District Court on Tuesday.
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The Amsterdam-based Transnational Institute (TNI) Drugs and Democracy Programme has released a report saying that the ongoing peace process raises hope for more effective drug policies.
It says that the government has initiated a consultative process with the relevant government ministries, United Nations agencies, and local and governmental organisations to discuss a draft proposal that would revise the outdated and ineffective 1993 Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substance law.
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Visitors flying into this buzzing tropical metropolis step into a modern glass-and-steel airport that symbolizes both Myanmar’s aspirations to rejoin the wider world after years of isolation and the country’s troubled past.
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Betel nut wholesalers in Mon State’s Ye township said a number of government departments are checking their bonafides with a crackdown on illegal imports from Thailand.
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The Myanmar Border police seized 570,000 Yaba methamphetamine tablets at Maungdaw Township in western Burma on 5 May 2015, said a police source.
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The day after Indonesia executed eight drug dealers, Thailand, Laos, Myanmar and China vowed to ratchet up a combined anti-drug war they insisted is making progress, reports the Bangkok Post on April 30.
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Outside a remote prison deep in the jungles of eastern Burma, young men sweat through their withdrawal in the dense heat of early summer. The inmates at this modest facility, about 60 of them in all, were arrested by ethnic Mon rebels for drug sales or possession, and have been sentenced to a sober stint of road-building in the underdeveloped region. (more…)

The Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) has announced that it seized a large haul of heroin and methamphetamine said to be worth more than US$3.5 million, after the ethnic Palaung rebels stopped and searched a truck passing through northern Shan State’s Mantong Township.
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The United Nations drugs control body says it is concerned about the proliferation of new narcotics developed to circumvent existing drug laws poses a serious health problem, as well as an old drug, opium, given concerns about opium production picking up in Myanmar.
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The Transnational Institute’s recent report says Myanmar has become a major producer of heroin and amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS) and drug injection has been blamed for the spread of HIV/ AIDS.
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The back road through Namkham Township, a mountainous cluster of village tracts abutting the border with China and Kachin State, is these days more peaceful than its recent history would suggest. The route has occasionally hosted flashpoints of conflict between the Burma Army and local ethnic armed groups operating in the area, including the Kachin Independence Army and Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA). At the moment, however, there are no military checkpoints, and cars taking the six-hour route from Lashio enjoy an uninterrupted passage through a serene landscape of mountain ranges and pastures.
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Burma’s Lower House of Parliament on Tuesday chewed over a proposal about how to reduce the consumption of betel nut, a mild street-side stimulant known for leaving a blood-red trail on the lips of users and the sidewalks they travel.
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Thailand, Myanmar, China and Laos are working together to tackle the Mekong triangle illegal drug trade, according to The Nation on February 20.
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Chemicals used in the production of methamphetamine with a market value of more than 600 million kyats (US$582,000) were seized by authorities at the Shan State border town of Tachilek, the township police anti-drug squad announced on Wednesday.
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Women in Shan State are being affected more than previously by problems related to drug use by other people according to the Cherry-Poanyake Network, an alliance group made up of seven community based organisations (CBOs).
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Thailand’s anti-narcotics agency has given Bt20 million to Myanmar’s counterpart body under a joint agreement to fight rampant drug abuse in both countries. (more…)

Sweaty hair matted to his pale, emaciated face, Thant Zin Oo starts his days early, winding through small alleyways outside Myanmar’s biggest city Yangon and scavenging through garbage piled up behind shops and factories in search of something – anything – to sell. (more…)

Thai Justice Minister Mr Paiboon Koomchaya has called on Myanmar and China to help arrest 10 fugitive drug traders believed to be in hiding in those countries, according a The Nation report on January 18. (more…)

Poppy growers in southern Shan State said prices for raw opium have fallen during the current harvest season, continuing a trend of slowly declining prices for the illicit crop in recent years. (more…)

New Year’s Eve passed quietly in Kanzam, a small village in northern Chin State. While other villages in remote Tonzang Township were busily preparing for a celebration, this one remained eerily still. Kanzam’s old and weather-beaten Catholic chapel was barred shut and entirely without décor. No bells were ringing, no churchgoers singing, no priest stood in the chapel, once the holy heart of this pious village. (more…)

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