Mizoram : Major drug trafficking route from Myanmar

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During the last few years Mizoram has emerged as a major drug trafficking route originating from Myanmar.

Yaba tablets and other synthetic drugs are smuggled into the northeast from Myanmar and then pushed to other states, besides Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, ET has learnt. And some insurgent groups in Myanmar benefit from this process. Security partnership was a key item on the agenda during the visit of Foreign Secretary & Army Chief to Myanmar earlier this week.

Earlier this year, nongovernment organizations (NGOs) in Mizoram demanded fencing along the India-Myanmar border, claiming drug seizures worth $ 136,526, or 177.76 million kyats) in February-March, according to a recent report in The Irrawaddy, a leading media outfit of Myanmar.

The Irrawaddy report quoting experts claimed “that towards the end of the last century, drug cartels in the Golden Triangle—the area where the borders of Myanmar, Thailand and Laos meet—switched to the production of methamphetamine or meth, turning it into a more lucrative trade than heroin. The popularity of meth soared in Thailand, where it is known as “yaba”, or “crazy drug”. In Bangladesh, the name yaba has metamorphosed into “baba”.

Myanmar’s Shan State is the biggest producer of yaba tablets. There were reports that makeshift factories produce over 1 billion yaba pills annually in that region, from where they are smuggled to other Asian countries, Europe and the Americas, according to Irrawaddy.

India reported an increase in seizures of amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS), up from 431 kg in 2018 to more than 2.2 tons in 2019, according to a report from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. “This could, at least partially, be the consequence of the emergence of a new trafficking route from Myanmar through India’s border for trafficking to Bangladesh,” the report said.