Burma's speed defies Thai curb
In the face of fierce Thai crackdown on drug trafficking, methamphetamines and heroin continue to cater to addicts in the kingdom through the porous border between the two countries, according to a reliable source.
"There are passages overlooked by suppression units," said the woman who had homes on both sides of the border, "maybe for lack of sufficient manpower. The Burmese and Wa are also using Thailand's concern for their annual offensives against Shan bases as a cover."
She said that between 25 April and 7 May, Thai security forces were alerted by unusual patrols of the Burmese forces in Mongton Township, across from Chiangmai Province. "During the period, two of their patrols from Infantry Battalion #43 and Light Infantry Battalion #360 appeared at BP2 and Loi Man Htawng (both in the vicinity of Hpabawng Base of the Shan State Army, opposite Chiangmai's Fang District)", she said. "And while all eyes were focused on the impending attack on the rebels, the caravan carrying 1 million yaba pills and 20 blocks of heroin just slipped through."
She claimed the said consignment came out from a warehouse at the IB 65 command post in Mongton. "It was an elaborate operation," She explained. "It followed the visit of two women from Thailand, one an ethnic Chinese and the other an ethnic Lahu, at Chao Ching's home in Nawngpayen (north of Mongton) in April."
Chao Ching, a fugitive from Chiangmai's Chiangdao District on drug charges, is reported as sales agent for the local Burmese and Wa forces.
A Border Patrol Police officer concurred saying, "I realized that was what actually must have taken place after the expected attack on Shans did not materialize and the two Burmese units withdrew."
The street price along the border towns of Mae Ai, Fang and Chaiprakarn is, at present, between 130 - 150 baht while along the villages close to the border, it is 25-30 baht, he quoted from his reports.
The Nation reported on 7 May that yaba pills with Wa stamps had appeared in Cambodia and that the price in Phnom Penh had plummeted from 100 baht to 30 baht per pill.
Thailand had designated 1 February to 30 April as the period for relentless war against drugs. 2 December has been set for the declaration of victory.