The Kaw Moo Ra Karen Youth Group last week raided an island located in the middle of the Moei River and ‘detained’ suspected drug runners and seized illegal substances, ammunition and weapons. The River Moei separates Thailand from Burma.
The island, known as ‘no-man’s land, sits in the middle of the river opposite the border towns of Mae Sot on the Thai side and Myawaddy on the Burma side.
Saw Moses, a chairman of Kaw Moo Ra Karen Youth group told Karen News that the Island was well-known as a drug trading place between the two countries and they carried out the raid for the sake of Karen youth living in the area.
“We had information about drug trafficking in this place for a long time. This place is known for supplying drugs. The drugs have destroyed many lives of our Karen youth. We take responsibility for the development of our Karen youth so that they can be valuable people in the future that’s why we took action.”
The Kaw Moo Ra Karen Youth Group said that the three ‘arrested’ suspects were two men and a woman who are Burmese citizens. The drug seizures included 5,000 tablets of Ya Ba [methamphetamines], 2.4kgs of marijuana [ganja], a M-16 machine gun, a homemade grenade, nine-bullets for a rifle, three small arms, and other ammunition.
After the raid, the ‘suspects’ were handed over by the Kaw Moo Ra Karen Youth Group to Thai police and the Myawaddy District senior police officer, U Aung Myit, together with the ‘suspects’ possessions.
The Kaw Moo Ra Karen Youth Group’s raid on the ‘no-man’s land’ had the support of the Border Guard Force (BGF) (a militia under the control of the Burma Army), and Myawaddy Township police.
Speaking to Karen News, a Myawaddy resident said.
“The Thai and Burma authorities hardly ever deal with the [drug] issue in this place. The raid is good for everyone. But, it is better to carry out raids more often than once a year.”
The Kaw Moo Ra Karen Youth Group said that they received permission to raid the island from the 22nd Division Commander, Brigadier General Tin Maung Tun and Myawaddy Township police officials.
The 3-square-acre piece of wasteland, known as ‘no-man’s land’, located in the middle of the River Moei is regarded as neutral land, neither the Thai or Burma exercise authority over it.