Myanmar authorities say seize almost half a ton of crystal meth worth around RM19mil

YANGON (AFP): Myanmar authorities have announced that they had seized almost half a ton of crystal meth worth over US$4 million (RM18.8 million).

Security forces stopped a motorcycle and van in a forest in the northern Mandalay region during the early hours of Sunday, Myanmar's Central Committee on Drug Abuse Control said in a statement.

"The search brought the seizure of 435 kg of crystal meth (ICE) with a local value of 8.7 billion kyats" ($4.14 million) the statement said.

It said the drugs were being transported from Myanmar's Shan state and authorities were conducting further investigations.

The "Golden Triangle" border region between Myanmar, Laos and Thailand has long been a hotbed of illegal drug production and trafficking, particularly of meth and opium.

This includes Myanmar's Shan state -- Southeast Asia's primary source of meth, according to the UN -- home to a patchwork of ethnic rebel groups and militias aligned with the country's army.

Analysts say the military, which ousted an elected government and seized power in 2021, is not serious about ending the lucrative trade.

Earlier this year in a rare admission, the head of Myanmar's CCDAC said its efforts to crush the multi-billion-dollar trade were having no impact. - AFP

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