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Myanmar torches seized drugs worth half a billion dollars

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A burning pile of seized illegal drugs during a destruction ceremony to mark the United Nations' "International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking" in Yangon on Sunday.

MYANMAR: Myanmar’s authorities said they torched more than half a billion dollars worth of narcotics on Sunday as part of eradication efforts for World Drug Day, as the UN warns that production of methamphetamine in the region is hitting record levels.

Almost two tonnes of heroin and more than 630 million “yaba” meth pills went up in smoke at ceremonies in Myanmar’s commercial hub of Yangon, the central city of Mandalay and Shan state in the north, authorities said.

But some analysts cautioned that the US$642 million bonfires are part of a long-running game of smoke and mirrors played by a junta government not serious about tackling the problem.

The televised burnings represent a “decade-long delusion” about Myanmar’s multibillion-dollar drug industry, independent analyst David Mathieson said.

Myanmar’s Shan state is Southeast Asia’s primary source of meth according to the United Nations.

The state is home to militias and has seen relatively little violence in opposition to the military since Myanmar’s generals seized power in a coup last year.



Tuesday, June 28, 2022 – 01:00

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