Myanmar police seized more than 10 million meth pills worth $13.3 million over the weekend, Japan Times reported on Monday.
Myanmar police colonel Win Ko Ko told journalists that the massive haul became the biggest drugs seizure this year in the country. According to the experts, it is definitely the biggest ever in Maungdaw region in Rakhine state. In the Asian region, Myanmar is widely known as the largest methamphetamine producer. Ten million meth pills of low quality, so-called ‘crazy medicine’, was likely bound for Bangladesh or Thailand, police said. Both countries are large drug-addicted communities.
High-grade crystal meth — or ‘ice’ — is smuggled out of Myanmar via sophisticated networks to lucrative developed markets as far away as Japan, South Korea and Australia.
Two different busts took place in the west of the country at the weekend, state-run media said Monday, one in Magway region and one in Maungdaw in Rakhine state.
Myanma: 10 million lower-quality meth pills were heading to Bangladesh
The pills were likely destined for Bangladesh, where they have become an easy source of income for the Rohingya Muslim refugees who have poured across the border since a 2017 military crackdown.
Most of the drug production, however, takes place on the other side of Myanmar, in conflict-ridden eastern Shan state.
Much of the state lies outside of central control with a complex web of rebel ethnic armed groups and militias wielding power and linking up with trafficking networks.
Accurate production figures are impossible to obtain, but experts say that large seizures have had no effect on drug prices — suggesting they are only a small proportion of the total.