Drug Seizures Tripled in Karen State, Majority of Captures Made in Hpa-an, Myawaddy

Drug seizures in 2017, in Karen State tripled compared to 2016 and the majority of the arrests were made in Hpa-an and Myawaddy, according to the State Police Chief Kyin Lin.

“When we took more actions against the traffickers rather than the users, we seized over 2.1 million methamphetamine tablets. We seized over 1.5 million tablets beyond the number in 2016. As we were able to block all the entry points to the whole country, we seized the most number of drugs in Hpa-an and Myawaddy,” he told Karen News on January 4.

He continued that the public has only made a few drug-related reports to the police. Police urged them to report if their family members are using drugs because the police will only arrest the drug traffickers instead of the users.

He added that the state police will cooperate with the public to carry out wider drug awareness programs and open drug rehabilitation centers in townships and villages.

The state police have seized 2,100,532 methamphetamine tablets, 163 gram of raw opium, 2,579 gram of ICE, 120 gram of marijuana, 1,650 gram of kratom, and 78 weapons. A total of 745 culprits have been arrested for 530 cases, according to state police’s statement.

“Arrests have been made in every township, but many drugs are still in the surroundings. There isn’t any legal guarantee for possible retaliations towards the public after they report the drug traffickers. We are trying to release drug policy recommendation paper based on our research,” said Saw Phoe Khwar Gyi, coordinator of the ‘Peace Dialogue and Research Project’ under the Nyein Foundation.

A total of 810 culprits have been arrested for 551 drug cases and over 600,000 methamphetamine tablets and 133 weapons were seized in the Karen State in 2016. Among nearly 1,700 remand detainees and convicts in the Hpa-an Prison, over half of them have been charged or sentenced for drug cases.

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