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Myanmar junta struggles to halt surge in drug trafficking

YANGON: Myanmar junta authorities said that they torched almost half a billion US dollars worth of illegal drugs on Monday (Jun 26) but warned that they were failing to stop a surge in the production and trafficking of narcotics.

Head-high piles of heroin, cannabis, methamphetamine and opium were burned in the commercial hub Yangon, AFP reporters said, in an annual spectacle to mark the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.

Televised torchings also took place elsewhere in the country, with a total of US$446 million of narcotics going up in smoke, according to junta officials.

But in a rare admission, the head of Myanmar’s Central Committee for Drug Abuse Control said that its efforts to crush the multibillion-dollar trade were having no impact.

“Even though countless drug abusers, producers, traffickers and cartels were arrested and prosecuted, the production and trafficking of drugs have not declined at all,” Soe Htut told the Global New Light of Myanmar newspaper.

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