Drugs


Drugs seized recently were burned by the Restoration Council of Shan State / Shan State Army (RCSS/SSA) on Sunday, 7 April, on the Sino-Burmese border township of Namkham, according to the SSA South, as the RCSS/SSA is commonly known.
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Southeast Asia’s Golden Triangle is a crumpled baize of lofty peaks and lush valleys straddling the triptych borders of Thailand, Laos and Burma. The region is notorious for drugs, particularly Burma’s poppy fields that are the world’s second principal source of heroin. But with recent democratic reforms heralding a prodigal return to the international fold, Burma is now feeling increased pressure to tackle its drugs problem. To this end, Myanmar, as the country is officially known, last week sent a high-level delegation to the U.N. Commission on Narcotics Drugs in Vienna for the first time. However, uneasy cease-fires with ethnic rebels, porous frontiers and rampant corruption continue to cloud whether the central government can successfully rein in its wild hinterland. (more…)

Deep in the lawless mountains of the Golden Triangle, sloping fields of illegal poppies have just been scraped dry for opium. This is the peak season for producing drugs here, and in Myanmar’s nascent era of democratic change, the haul has gotten only bigger.
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Freshly dumped hypodermic syringes litter alleys, cemeteries and shaded corners in Myitkyina, the provincial capital of Kachin state, on Myanmar’s northern border with China. (more…)

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. (more…)

The notorious Shan drug trafficker Naw Kham will be executed by lethal injection in southern China on Friday, according to reports in the Chinese press. (more…)

Myanmar and the United States took another step toward closer relations with an agreement Thursday to resume cooperation in fighting narcotics after nearly nine years. (more…)

China considered using a drone strike in a mountainous region of Southeast Asia to kill a Myanmar drug lord wanted in the killings of 13 Chinese sailors, but decided instead to capture him alive, according to an influential state-run newspaper. (more…)

President Thein Sein and his reform government have made important changes in Myanmar. Many political prisoners are free, real steps are under way to bring in basic freedoms of speech and gathering. The elected Myanmar parliament has engaged in open dialogue and criticism, especially since the election of democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi. The president has shown a desire to engage the world community. (more…)

Burmese police seized around US $140,000 worth of pseudo-ephedrine-based cold and flu tablets and a large cache of weapons in Tamu, Sagaing Division, on Sunday, according to local sources and state-media reports. (more…)

Teknaf, Bangladesh: Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) recovered a plastic bag with 5580 Yaba tablets worth around Tk 1,700,000 from the Naf river in Teknaf Upazila of Cox’s Bazar on January 19, according to an official  of BGB. (more…)

Police in southern Shan state’s Pinlaung township seized more than 900kg of raw opium during a raid at a cave in the area after being tipped off that the site was being used to produce narcotics. (more…)

The Kachin Independence Organization has set new drug regulations for foreigners, local sources say, allowing the organization to profit from fines imposed on users and smugglers arrested in Burma’s northernmost state. (more…)

Burma is at the heart of a growing narcotics crisis in Asia that threatens public security, the UN said Wednesday, urging regional help for the impoverished nation in stemming drug production. (more…)

Declining heroin and opium output from Afghanistan could provide strong cash incentives for Burma’s drug warlords to boost production, thereby threatening the further growth of a trade that is already considered a key component in Southeast Asia’s expanding organized crime world. (more…)

Beijing – A Chinese court sentenced four members of a Myanmar drug gang to death Tuesday for kidnapping and killing 13 Chinese sailors last year on the Mekong River, state media said. (more…)

Bagnkok — The cultivation of illegal opium has increased in Myanmar for a sixth successive year, fueled in part by rising demand for heroin across Asia, the United Nations said Wednesday. (more…)

A pilot crop substitution project will be at the top of the agenda in the upcoming Union level meeting between the government and the Restoration Council of Shan State / Shan State Army (RCSS/SSA), according to RCSS/SSA leader Lt-Gen Yawdserk. (more…)

While authorities have warned that poppies must be grown “at the nape” (out of sight) and “not on the forehead” (within sight), many fields are still visible from the motor roads, as in Hopan-Hokhieng area, south of the Mongpan-Mongton road, according to new arrivals of migrants in Chiangmai. (more…)

Warnings of Myanmar’s expanding drugs trade tumble out of the offices of the UN annually, but these days rarely draw a frown. The reports have become a hackneyed reminder that for all the bravado of the government’s anti-drugs programme, the problem is as intractable as ever: cultivation of poppies has increased year-on-year since 2007, despite promises from Naypyidaw that it’ll eliminate the practice by 2014, while militias operating in the mountainous east continue to pump out millions of methamphetamine pills each year, leading some experts to warn that Myanmar could be the world’s largest narcotics state.

To date the government has largely rejected accusations that it is lax in its approach to the situation. Last month however a police officer in the drugs control department described the problem as “very dangerous now” and getting worse, a candid and unusual admission from an official that Myanmar’s much-touted “war on drugs” is a spectacular failure.

This is something observers have known for a long time. Last year, around 610 tonnes of opium were produced, with only Afghanistan recording a higher output. The amount of acreage used for growing poppies is also on a continual rise – 14 per cent between 2010 and 2011, according to the UN – suggesting that a reinvigorated campaign to rid the country of opium farming has not found its target. But opium is no longer the main problem: production of methamphetamine is so vast that Myanmar is most likely a world leader in a market that neighbouring countries have identified as fuelling one of the great regional crises. (more…)

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