Border police seize 3 million yaba pills

Aug 26, 2009 (DVB), A massive haul of methamphetamine pills was seized at the Burma border town of Tachilek on Monday, along with 721kg of heroin and two guns, Burmese state media reported today.

The town of Tachilek, which acts as a busy crossing point from Burma into Thailand's Mae Sai, is a popular route for drug trafficking into Thailand.

In July, border police in the town seized $US7.5 million worth of heroin and methamphetamine pills (also known as 'yaba'). The heroin haul was thought to be seven times the amount seized annually in Burma.

Two houses were searched during Monday's raid, the New Light of Myanmar newspaper said today.

In the first house were two guns, 964,000 yaba pills, 21 kilos of heroin and 102 blocks of heroin. The second house, located in nearby Wanlone village, contained 1,962,000 pills, 700kg of heroin and 10kg of crystal meth.

The suspects are being questioned, the newspaper report said, while others involved in the trafficking are being investigated.

Burma is the world's second biggest producer of opium for heroin after Afghanistan, although a UN report released in June said that production is declining.

Much of the methamphetamine consumed in Thailand comes from Burma. The UN report said that there was an alarming rise in the use of synthetic drugs, such as methamphetamine, in developing world.

However, tighter border control by Thailand, following the former prime minister Thaksin Sinawatra's crackdown on drug use, has meant that increasing amounts circulate inside Burma.

While global markets for most illicit drugs are either steady or in decline, amphetamines remain one of the few drugs that are being produced in increasing quantities.

Reporting by Francis Wade

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