Drug arrest at Mae La Refugee Camp

Mae La Refugee Camp securities and Thai authorities arrested two men on March 15 for allegedly using narcotics.

Security officials in charge at the Mae La Refugee Camp told Karen News that one of the men, Saw Kyaw Eh, 28, had eight ya ba (amphetamine) tablets on him when he was detained by camp authorities, a younger man, also arrested at the time was later cleared of possession and drug use.

“Police made the men take an urine test. Saw Kyaw Eh’s result showed he had been using narcotics, but the younger man had not. At the time we heard Saw Kyaw Eh asking the younger man to give a money for the tablets.”

Thai and Karen security officials at the camp together with a local Thahan Phran (Hunter Soldiers) unit made the arrest on the two men.

A Karen security official, Saw Ah Mu from Mae La Refugee camp said.

“We suspected Saw Kyaw Eh of using drugs for a long time now as people had informed us, but before we could not arrest him in possession of the drugs. But this time we were in civilian clothes and were able to arrest him, if we were not, it would not have been easy to arrest him. He would have tried to run.”

Saw Kyaw Eh was jailed previously two years for theft and had been released eight months ago and now lived in Mae La Refugee Camp. During his time in the camp, Saw Kyaw Eh had connection with drug dealers from Myawaddy, and it was known he distributed ya ba in the camp. According to Saw Kyaw Eh’s confession and the result of his urine test he also used ya ba.

Camp authorities, after arrested of the two men, sent them to Mae Tan police station, Tha Song Yang district on the evening of March 15.

The Thai authorities confirmed that the younger man was not guilty and would be sent back to Mae La camp.

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