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Myanmar reports major drug bust near Thai border

world Updated: Aug 26, 2009 13:02 IST

AP
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Police in Myanmar seized more than 100 blocks of heroin and nearly 3 million methamphetamine tablets near the border with Thailand in one of the military-ruled country's largest drug seizures, a state-run newspaper said on Wednesday.

An anti-drug squad confiscated two guns and ammunition and arrested four people in the raid on Monday on two houses in the northeastern town of Tachileik, the Myanma Ahlin newspaper said. Police seized 104 heroin blocks, including two that weighed 1,540 pounds (700 kilograms), the newspaper said. It did not give the weight of the remaining 102 blocks.

The seizure also included 2,926,000 methamphetamine pills and 46 pounds (21 kilograms) of powdered heroin, it said. In July, 1,676 pounds (762 kilograms) of heroin and 340,000 methamphetamine pills were seized in the same border town, about 340 miles (550 kilometers) northeast of the country's largest city, Yangon. At the time, newspapers called it the biggest single seizure of heroin ever recorded in Myanmar.

Myanmar produced an estimated 410 tons of opium in 2008, enough to make around 40 tons of heroin, according to United Nations figures. The country is the world's second-largest producer after Afghanistan, which accounts for 90 per cent of world output.

Myanmar is also a major source of methamphetamine. Much of it is trafficked to neighboring Thailand where abuse of the drug is rampant.