Sit­twe po­lice make ar­rest af­ter mas­sive drug bust

The Myanmar Times - - News - NYAN LYNN AUNG nyan­lin­aung@mm­times.com

mar­kets, rail­way sta­tions, har­bours along the Aye­yarwady River and un­der bridges in six town­ships in Man­dalay.

The goal of the study was to col­lect data about the chil­dren so ser­vice providers can more ef­fec­tively help the re­spon­dents and pre­vent more chil­dren from wind­ing up on the street, said Daw Nan Mauk Sai, chief of­fi­cer of the Man­dalay DSW.

“The main rea­son why chil­dren live on the street is be­cause their fam­ily’s in­come is not good enough and they live in poverty,” she said. “It’s a big prob­lem to be solved.”

Of­fi­cials from the DSW, Man­dalay City De­vel­op­ment Com­mit­tee, the Depart­ment of Im­mi­gra­tion, the Depart­ment of Health, the Depart­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion, the po­lice force and other re­lated de­part­ments dis­cussed the data and pos­si­ble so­lu­tions at a street chil­dren erad­i­ca­tion work­shop last week.

“Now is the time to draw up a plan for the street chil­dren,” said U Kyaw Win, the Man­dalay Re­gion di­rec­tor of the DSW. “This is a very com­pli­cated prob­lem that peo­ple have been try­ing to solve since the Child Law was en­acted [in 1993].” – Trans­la­tion by San Layy PO­LICE have a sus­pect in cus­tody re­lated to a huge drug bust on the Sit­twe jetty on June 27.

The sus­pect was ar­rested in Maung­daw township on June 29, two days af­ter the bust. Po­lice said they be­lieved he was the in­tended re­ceiver of the drugs, and may have been try­ing to de­liver them onward to Bangladesh.

Rakhine State anti-drug po­lice found more than 790,000 stim­u­lant tablets la­beled with the let­ters “WY”, a com­mon de­mar­ca­tion for metham­phetamine, or “yaba”, in the stowage of a Sit­twe ferry. The drugs are es­ti­mated to be worth more than K2.4 bil­lion.

Sit­twe po­lice have ar­rested two sus­pi­cious peo­ple re­lated to drug trade re­cently and they are at­tempt­ing to trace those sus­pects to other po­ten­tial drug traf­fick­ers, U Aung Myint Oo, a se­nior po­lice of­fi­cial, said.

“We are try­ing our best to catch the per­son who traf­ficked th­ese drugs by alert­ing all anti-drug po­lice in the state,” he said. “How­ever, we haven’t iden­ti­fied any other sus­pects yet.”

U Maung Maung Than, a se­nior of­fi­cial with Sit­twe’s po­lice depart­ment, said it is the largest drug seizure in Rakhine State’s his­tory.

Po­lice have stopped 40 drug trans­ac­tions and ar­rested 80 re­lated sus­pects in the past four months, he said. Most of those ar­rested were from Bangladesh, he said, but the two sus­pects re­lated to the June 27 bust were from Rakhine State.

U Maung Maung Than added that po­lice are try­ing to fig­ure out who was in charge of the drug trade, but it’s dif­fi­cult be­cause the sus­pects are likely low-level traf­fick­ers and they don’t know who is at the top of the chain.

Po­lice say th­ese drugs were trans­ported from Yangon to Sit­twe and then were go­ing to be car­ried from Sit­twe – through Buthi­daung township and Maung­daw township — to Bangladesh.

Arakan Na­tional Party Sec­re­tary U Tun Aung Kyaw said the drug trade has be­come a prob­lem in the state and noted that many young peo­ple have started us­ing drugs.

“We can’t say how many drugs got through be­fore we caught this one,” he said.

Photo: Phyo Wai Kyaw

A child hold­ing an in­fant begs for money from driv­ers in Man­dalay.

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