Karen border guards make largest drug bust of 2014

Karen border guards make largest drug bust of 2014

The paramilitary Border Guard Force (BGF) in Karen State seized over 130,000 amphetamine pills at the end of December.

Maj. Naing Maung Zaw, information officer of the BGF, said troops from the 1019th battalion raided a lumber mill in Myawaddy district’s Thingan Nyinaung Township following a tipoff.

“[BGF troops] under instruction from battalion commander Saw Chit Thu raided a house in the lumber mill and seized over 130,000 ya-ba tablets in a plastic bag,” he said, adding that it was the largest drug bust in the area in 2014.

A man identified as 29-year-old Saw Tee Khaung was detained in connection with the pills and handed over to Myawaddy district police on 2 January. He has denied that the drugs belong to him.

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The Myawaddy district police were unavailable for comment.

The BGF is one of six armed groups who formed an anti-narcotics joint-committee in Karen State, DVB reported in July. The groups said they aim to respond to civilian concern that drugs use is rising among young people and leading to increased crime. The Karen Human Rights Group, however, has pointed the finger at the ethnic armed groups themselves as major players in the production and sale of narcotics.

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