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An American and an Austrian* citizen have been arrested in northern Shan State’s Muse, along with a third individual who police say is a rebel group member.
The trio were apprehended after police found drugs and bullets in a car in which they were travelling.
When contacted for comment by DVB, the US embassy in Rangoon said, “We are aware of the case and are providing consular assistance.”
An officer at Muse police station told DVB the three were detained after being stopped at a checkpoint on the Nampatka road as they travelled towards Namhkam. Methamphetamine pills and bullets were found in the Pajero SUV they were travelling in.
The officer said police have identified one Ta-ang man as Mung Nyi Lay, 26, and believe he is a member of a Ta-ang [also known as Palaung] armed group.
“Muse police are seeking narcotic and weapons charges against the three – an Australian, an American, and a Palaung man, assumed to be from a Palaung ethnic armed group – after they were caught with 40 stimulant pills and some bullets,” said the police officer.
“They are currently being questioned by various departments at the town’s administration office,” he said.
The Ta-ang National Liberation Army’s spokesperson Ta Parn La has denied Maung Nyi Lay’s connection with the group.
The area around Nampatka is renowned for its rampant drug problems.
* The original article noted that the man was Australian due to an incorrect police report. We apologise for this error.