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Myanmar makes biggest heroin bust this year

25 october 2013, 10:21
0
©Reuters/US DEA/Handout via Reuters
©Reuters/US DEA/Handout via Reuters
Myanmar police said Thursday they had arrested a man with 133 kilos (293 pounds) of heroin worth $2 million at local prices -- the country's biggest seizure of the drug this year, AFP reports.

The drugs were found on Sunday in Tachileik near the border with Thailand -- a major destination for smuggled narcotics.

"One man was arrested and three others are still at large," a police official in the drugs control department told AFP.

"It's the biggest seizure of heroin this year," he said on condition of anonymity.

State media said the heroin was discovered in bags transported by motorcycle following a tip-off.

Myanmar, the world's second-largest opium producer, in May pushed back by five years its goal of eliminating drug production, to 2019.

That followed a rebound in poppy cultivation in the impoverished country, which is emerging from decades of military rule.

Experts say production of amphetamine-type stimulants is also surging in Myanmar.

Earlier this month seven tonnes of caffeine -- which is sometimes mixed with methamphetamine in pills -- were seized near Tachileik, the police official said.

The drugs trade is closely linked to Myanmar's long-running insurgencies in remote border areas, with ethnic minority rebels widely thought to use the profits to fund their operations.

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