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8 million ‘ecstasy’ tablets, weapons seized in Tachileik

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – Police were tipped off to a huge drug shipment probably bound for Thailand stored in three homes in a village outside of Tachileik on the northern Thai-Burma border on Monday. Around 8.7 million amphetamine tablets and assorted weapons were confiscated, said Burmese authorities.

Ecstasy pills are a staple of the drug trade around the Golden Triangle. Photo: wikipedia.orgAuthorities raided three houses in the Lwetawkham village tract in Tachileik Township and found amphetamine-type tablets, assault rifles and drug-making material, according to a source close to the police.

“One of the members of this drug gang gave police a tip-off by phone. All of the owners of the houses are ethnic Akha and all of them managed to escape the raid. Only the drugs, weapons and equipment were found,” a source told Mizzima.

The raids took place on Monday morning. One AK-47 assault rifle, one M-16 rifle, a .38 pistol and one M-22 rifle were seized.

Sixty kilograms of caffeine used in making the drugs was also seized.

The Tachileik police said that the drugs were probably going to be sent to Thailand.

In its 2011 report, the UN anti-narcotics agency sounded the alarm over soaring production and consumption of heroin and new “designer drugs” that are again making Southeast Asia a major drugs hub.

The agency’s World Drug Report 2011 warned that Burma has become a prime source of synthetic narcotic methamphetamine.

A record 15.8 tons of methamphetamine pills were seized in 2009, the latest year for available figures, up by more than one third from 2008.

Most of the drugs came from or were seized in Burma, which the UNODC called “one of the primary sources of methamphetamine pills in Southeast Asia.”

Burma has also seen a surge in opium poppy production to make heroin, according to the agency. The world opium market is now said to be valued at more than $US 68 billion a year.

The Golden Triangle of Laos, Burma and Thailand are at the center of the drug trade.  The UN said that governments and experts in Asia had reported a “significant” increase in use of amphetamine-type stimulants over the past year, particularly of methamphetamine.
Last Updated ( Thursday, 16 February 2012 15:19 )  

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