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Myanmar, Cambodia burn $1.6-B drugs

 

YANGON: Narcotic drugs worth over $839 million were burned in Myanmar’s Yangon, Mandalay regions and Shan state on Friday, marking the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.

Confiscated drugs are burnt during a ceremony by Myanmar police to commemorate World Anti-Drugs Day on the outskirts of Yangon on Monday. AFP PHOTO

Some 133 kinds of narcotic drugs and precursor chemicals and 50 kinds of related materials, which were confiscated this year, were destroyed at the ceremonies held in five places — Yangon, Mandalay, Taunggyi, Lashio and Kutkai.

 

Home Affairs Minister Lt-Gen Soe Htut, in his capacity as chairman of Central Committee for Drug Abuse Control, stressed in his message that it is required to address the illegal drug problems in multi-sectoral approaches and means simultaneously and harmoniously.

The government has been carrying out control measures over production and abuses of narcotic drugs, which include cultivation of substituted crops, rehabilitation, promotion of public awareness, international cooperation and others, the minister said.

With accelerating efforts, the amount of this year’s seizure increased by almost three times of its value compared to last year, said Brig-Gen Myo Min Htike, head of Yangon Region Police Force.

Meanwhile, Cambodia on Friday burned down 477.7 kilogram of illicit drugs with an estimated value of $600 million to mark the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, officials said.

Deputy Prime Minister Ke Kim Yan, also chairman of the National Authority for Combating Drugs, set fire to the drugs at a ceremony held at the Diamond Island in capital Phnom Penh.

“The burning of the drugs today is a message to the criminals that the Cambodian government is strongly committed to cracking down on all types of illicit drugs,” he said. “We will not only seize their drugs for destruction, but also seek to confiscate their assets.”

Kim Yan said the burned drugs included methamphetamine, amphetamine, ecstasy, heroin and ketamine, among others.

During the January-May period of 2020, the authorities have arrested 8,927 drug-related suspects in 4,510 cases and seized 209 kilograms of drugs, he said.

Phnom Penh Municipal Court’s prosecutor Keo Sothea said at the event that the burned drugs had been seized from the criminals last year during crackdowns made in Phnom Penh, Kandal, Kampong Speu and Takeo provinces.

Cambodia has no death sentence for drug traffickers. Under its law, anyone found guilty of trafficking more than 80 grams of illicit drugs could be jailed for life.

 

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