Published on Wednesday, 16 January 2013 15:08
Opium confiscated in Shan State
Police are now searching for the ringleaders of an opium-production network in Shan state following the largest seizure of the narcotic in a decade during an early morning raid of a cave near Pinlaung town in Shan State last Sunday, state police told Eleven Media.
The raid netted more than 900 kilograms of raw opium with a street value estimated at more than US$8 million, as well as chemicals used to refine it, police said. Three men – Myo Zaw Htaik, Aung Htaik and Tun Hla – were arrested by officers from Pinlaung Police Station.
“We are now searching for those behind the opium-production network,” Police Lt-Colonel Kyaw Aye said, explaining that the size of the seizure indicated that the three men arrested were working on behalf of a syndicate. The officer said his station had enough officers and firepower to arrest those involved in the narcotics trade, but said eradicating poppy plantations and making arrests were not sufficient to eradicate the lucrative business.
Kyaw Aye said the government should introduce a crop-substitution plan that would provide an incentive for poppy growers to switch to other crops for export. About 20 officers took part in Sunday’s raid, he said.
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