Monday, December 15, 2014

KIA burns huge drug haul in northern Shan state

The KIA burned huge drug in northern Shan state of Burma on Dec 8, 2014

A drug eradication committee operated by the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) Battalion 9 under the group's 4th Brigade, burned over US $100,000 worth of confiscated drugs in northern Shan state last week.

The drug burning took place in Hopan village in Kutkai division on December 8th according to Captain Zau La General Secretary of the anti-drug committee.

The committee destroyed 3 kg of raw opium, 4.5 kg of refined heroin, 4,224 amphetamine tablets and about 10 kg of precursor chemicals used in the production of amphetamine. This was the second such mass drug burning to be held by the committee.

Back on September 27th the committee also burned 26 kg of raw opium about 15 kg of heroin and some 60,000 amphetamine tablets, estimated to be worth more than $100,000.

Prior to the drug burning in Hopan the KIA officials explained to the audience of more than 350 people who were observing the ceremony that they were carrying out these actions in accordance with Kachin Independent Organization (KIO) policy.

Even if the KIA is completely successful in eliminating drug production and drug use its territory, such practices will continue in areas controlled by the government, Captain Zau La said.

The KIO launched an anti-drug initiative on October 5th, 2010, prior to the nationwide general election. Since the start of the anti-drug campaign KIA units have held ceremonies across the group's territory in which large amounts of confiscated drugs have been burned.

The latest anti-drug burning ceremony took place on the same day the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) released a report which suggested that opium cultivation overall in Burma had reduced this year compared to previous years. A KIA officer told the Kachin News Group that that despite the UNODC claims opium production appears to be rising in certain areas of northern Burma that are controlled by the government.


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