Police: Drug-Related Arrests Increase in Mon State

Police have arrested hundreds of people and seized more than US$87,000 worth of drugs in the state in 2018—and it’s only August.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

The Mon State police force has said that the number of drug-related arrests have risen in the state this year.

According to their reports, 239 such cases had been brought forward in 2018 as of August, with four months remaining in the year. These led to the arrests of 342 men and 42 women, according to police officer Myint Win. Comparatively, there were 283 drug cases in total in 2016 in Mon State and 270 in 2017.

“The government supports us for the anti-narcotics campaign. That’s why we have been able to arrest more drug dealers and drug addicts. We have had more drug cases compared to last year,” police officer Myint Win told NMG.

So far in 2018, Mon State police have seized more than 227,000 methamphetamine tablets, 285 grams of ‘ice,’ 918 grams of marijuana, 350 grams of heroin, and large quantities of kratom leaves. The total cost of these drugs would have been around 137,000,000 kyats (US$87,500)

According to Win Myint, most drugs were seized in Ye and Mawlamyine townships.

A report by the Mon Youth Progressive Organization (MYPO) also suggested that the selling and use of drugs had become more common in Mon State over the last year; the organization estimated that more than 70 percent of youth have experimented with drugs.

Civil society organizations in Mon State said that a lack of education and awareness about drugs and insufficient rehabilitation and treatment centers contribute to widespread drug use. They have also pointed to a lack of educational and economic opportunities in the state—conditions which, MYPO says, push youth toward drugs.

Mon State Chief Minister Dr. Aye Zan told the state parliament in the 10thsession that the prisons in the state are almost full, largely with people who have been arrested on drug issues.