Police in Shan State on Thursday seized over 1.6 billion kyat (US$1.25 million) worth of heroin smuggled in a vehicle.
Law enforcement officials in Loilem District, some 50 kilometres east of state capital Taunggyi, said they found 200 blocks of heroin, weighting a total of 67 kilogrammes, hidden in a SUV when they stopped and searched the vehicle at the Takaw Bridge checkpoint at the Salween River at around 7:40am on 20 October.
“We suspected the driver and searched the vehicle, and found the stash hidden in secret compartments under the driver’s seat and back passenger seats,” said Pol Deputy-Commander Tin Soe of the Anti-Narcotics Taskforce in Loilem. “There were 200 blocks of heroin, each weighing about 335g – 67kg in total – with an estimated value of 1.675 bn kyat.”
Tin Soe said the driver of the SUV, a 26-year-old man named as Sai Hseng Ywat, and passenger Maw Sariya, 24, were taken into police custody, where, under questioning, they admitted to taking money to deliver the drugs on behalf of a man named as Sai Hla Maung. Police say they are currently looking for the alleged dealer, who is now on the run.
The police deputy-commander said that drugs are frequently seized at Takaw Bridge, but that Thursday’s haul was the biggest seizure at that checkpoint so far this year.