Police say a major drug bust in Mandalay over the weekend netted more than US$30 million worth of illicit substance, including heroin and Ecstasy. An anti-narcotics team arrested three alleged drug traffickers and seized heroin, opium, methamphetamine and precursor chemicals in a container truck and four cars.
An unnamed police officer was quoted by AFP as saying it was the biggest drug bust so far this year.
The Mandalay Region anti-narcotics team said the total haul included Ecstasy tablets printed with “WY” worth K6.7 million, over 24 kilograms of heroin, 15kg of opium solids, 82kg of “ice” methamphetamine tablets, 1150 gallons of chloroform, 2000kg of phenol, 550 gallons of ammonium hydroxide, 300 gallons of hydrocholoride, and over 3700kg of ammonium as well as ethanol, engine oil and empty gas tanks. Police also confiscated K16 million in cash hidden in the glove compartment of two of the cars.
Police said they made the K37 billion seizure in front of a house on the corner of San Pya and Mingala streets in Mandalay’s Pyigyitagun township.
“The arrested people were running a serious drug business and are important people in the trade,” said Police Lieutenant Colonel Myint Aung from the Mandalay Region anti-narcotic force. “The amount of drugs we seized hit a new record high in Mandalay since the start of combating narcotic drug.”
Myanmar is considered the hub of drug production for the region, with seizures in Thailand, Bangladesh and China all sourcing back. Myanmar remains the second-largest producer of opium in the world, but is also increasingly involved in the production of synthetic drugs like “ice”, according to the UN Office of Drugs and Crime.
In a record seizure last year, police netted $106 million worth of methamphetamine tablets in a single raid in Mingaladon township last year.
Translation by Thiri Min Htun