More than 500,000 methamphetamine tablets were seized between Zula and Makyee Kone villages in Rakhine State on Wednesday morning, according to the Maungdaw district police force.
Acting on a tip-off, security personnel led by district police chief Nyan Win Oo set up a blockade-and-search operation on Wednesday morning and at around 11 a.m., three sacks containing 559,650 pills were uncovered.
“The administrator of four-mile ward in Maungdaw informed us that he saw Abukalong and two other men leaving four-mile ward carrying some bags. The district police force split up into three groups and searched three different areas. We found the bags between Zula and Makyee Kone villages. We are still seeking to arrest Abukalong and his aides,” said Nyan Win Oo.
Police said the “WY”-branded methamphetamine pills carry a street value of more than 1 billion kyats ($732,000). The Maungdaw Myoma police force has filed a case under the Narcotic Drug and Psychotropic Substances Act’s sections 19(a) and 21, punishable by a minimum of 10 years in prison if convicted.
Wednesday’s seizure was the fourth drug-related case in the past 10 days in Maungdaw district. About 1 million illegal pills were seized in Buthidaung Township on 13 November, and another 1 million pills on Monday. Similarly, in Maungdaw town, police uncovered about 1 million methamphetamine tablets on 17 November.
Two men have been arrested and Maungdaw police are seeking to arrest four more suspects in connection with the recent drug-related cases.
Bordering Bangladesh, northern Rakhine State has increasingly become a transit point for the illicit narcotics trade in recent years. In February, one high-profile drug bust saw law enforcement authorities seize more than 4.6 million methamphetamine tablets, also referred to locally as “yaba,” at a monastery in Maungdaw.