Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Northern commander amasses wealth fleecing drug smugglers

The junta's new Northern Regional Command Commander Maj-Gen Soe Win promises people in Kachin State that he will eradicate drugs in the State. Photo: Kachin News

Maj-Gen Soe Win, the northern regional or Kachin State command commander of the Burmese ruling junta has amassed a huge amount of money by fleecing drug smugglers, said sources close to him.

In Kachin State, every northern regional command (Ma Pa Kha) commander has earned money from jade mines, gold mines, timber, illicit drugs, and giving out a variety of business permits. Now, however, the amount of income from illicit drugs has topped the list for northern commanders starting from former northern regional commander Maj-Gen Ohn Myint to the present commander Maj-Gen Soe Win.

According to local Kachin businessmen, the northern regional commander is the most powerful man in the command. However they cannot make vast amounts of money from other business ventures in Kachin State except from illicit drug trade because other business ventures are directly under the control of Naypyidaw, the capital of the country.

Local reliable sources close to Maj-Gen Soe Win said, he has already received some 600 million kyats in cash which is equivalent US $ 606,061 each from two major drug smuggling gangs in the country as bribe. And the bribes are for permission from the commander Maj-Gen Soe Win to freely distribute different kinds of drugs in Kachin State.

The two drug smuggling syndicates trade in heroin, Yama or also called Methamphetamines and other kinds of drugs except opium from the Burma’s northeast Shan State bordering China to Hpakant jade mining city in Kachin State. This is one of the largest drug markets in the country, said local sources close to drug smugglers.

According to sources close to drug smugglers in Kachin State, heroin and Yama are mainly transported from Muse, the country’s largest border trade zone with China to Hpakant jade mining city along three main tracks such as Muse-Mandalay-Mogaung (Hopin during Summer)-Hpakant, Muse-Pyi Oo Lwin-Mogaung (Hopin during Summer) and Kambaiti-Myitkyina-Hpakant.

A Kachin businessman in Hpakant told KNG, “There are tens of thousands of jade miners from different areas in Burma in Hpakant jade mining areas and they all consume heroin or Yama or opium, daily. The illicit drugs are available everywhere in Hpakant and easy to get hold of. It is impossible to have an abundance of such drugs in Hpakant without the involvement of the local Burmese military from top to bottom.”

Local sources close to drug smugglers said, Kachin State has to import drugs from other areas because now there are “higher number of drug users and less local drugs.” The number of local farmers and businessmen in Kachin State turning to cultivating poppy in Hukawng (Hugawng) Valley, Sadon or also known as Sadung areas and Putao district is also on the rise.

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) also said, poppy cultivations has increased in Burma’s Shan and Kachin States.

Recent Posts from Burma Wants Freedom and Democracy

Recent posts from WHO is WHO in Burma


The Nuke Light of Myanmar Fan Box
The Nuke Light of Myanmar on Facebook
Promote your Page too