The Ta-ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) has claimed that they have seized over 190 million kyat (US$190,000) worth of narcotics in northern Shan State in one day.
TNLA’s spokesperson Mong Aik Kyaw told DVB on Monday that soldiers from the ethnic militia’s 683rd Battalion seized a large haul of drugs on 27 June from vehicles travelling between Namhkam and Manton townships.
“Around 30 of our troops carried out roadside inspections of vehicles on 27 June, and by 10am, they had already seized 80,000 yaba pills [speed], and over 10 viss [approximately 6.25kgs] of opium from five motorbikes,” Mong Aik Kyaw said.
“At around 2:30pm, they seized 39,000 more yaba pills from another motorbike.”
The TNLA spokesperson added that the group has detained the five men and one woman who were found carrying the drugs.
The ethnic army claimed that the narcotics had come from around the Mongwi village-tract in Namhkam, territory which belongs to the Burmese army-affiliated Pangsay People’s Militia. The group believes the drugs were bound for distribution in Manton, Mogok, Pyin Oo Lwin and Mandalay.
Mong Aik Kyaw said the TNLA usually punish smugglers with flogging, after which they are given drug education sessions.
The drugs seized are earmarked to be burned at the annual Ta-ang Resistance Day ceremony on 12 January next year. In 2015, the ethnic group destroyed over 200 million kyat worth of narcotics.
In March, the TNLA reported that it confiscated a truckload of heroin and speed pills worth more than $3 million in Muse while conducting similar vehicle searches.