Junta authorities claimed they seized and torched more than half a billion dollars worth of drugs to mark World Drug Day on June 26, according to state paper, The Global New Light of Myanmar.
The narcotics destroyed allegedly included two tons of heroin and more than 630 yaba pills confiscated during busts in Yangon, Mandalay, and Shan State, regime officials said.
In Yangon, a series of small explosions ignited the narcotics in an elaborate ceremony to the tune of Burmese pop music.
Critics argued the torching ceremonies were merely performative, and reminded that the Burmese military, one of the world’s largest drug cartels, is not, in fact, serious about preventing drug trafficking.
There was “active military complicity in protecting large-scale drug production to ensure stability in conflict zones,” analyst David Mathieson told the AFP.
DVB recently reported on the military’s complicity in the nation’s drug trade.
Shan State is Southeast Asia’s primary producer of methamphetamine — trafficked through the Golden Triangle region on the borders of Burma, Thailand, and Laos in increasing volume, according to the UNODC which recently claimed that nearly 172 tones of methamphetamine pills were seized in East and Southeast Asia in 2021, seven times the amount intercepted a decade ago.