Drugs


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…)

Thai police on Sunday morning seized a large amount of amphetamine pills on an alluvial island in the Moei River, underneath the Thai-Burma Friendship Bridge that spans the two countries’ common border between Myawaddy and Mae Sot. (more…)

The United Wa State Army (UWSA), Burma’s biggest ethnic rebel group, has recently reopened Popakyen trading hub in Mong Hsat Township, located in southeastern Shan State close to the Burma-Thai border, local sources have said. (more…)

The paramilitary Border Guard Force (BGF) in Karen State seized over 130,000 amphetamine pills at the end of December. (more…)

A decade ago, Myanmar seemed on course to wipe out the opium fields and heroin jungle labs along its eastern border, the notorious Golden Triangle. (more…)

Opium production in Myanmar fell for the first time in nearly a decade in 2014, the United Nations said Monday. The drop was due to lower crop yields, though, as the total area under cultivation was roughly the same as last year.

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Myanmar will be one of several countries under the spotlight for their efforts to crack down on the manufacture and trade in illegal drugs at a regional ASEAN meeting being held in Jakarta. (more…)

Thailand, Myanmar, Laos and China have pledged to join forces to fight drug trafficking along the Mekong River, where officials estimate they are failing to intercept 80 percent of smuggled narcotics, reports the Bangkok Post. (more…)

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