Heroin Seized in Rangoon Port

Rangoon police tell reporters they seized 89 kilograms of heroin bound for Singapore.

2009-01-29
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burma_305 Burmese security officers carry packets containing drugs confiscated in an earlier seizure in June 2006.
AFP/Khin Maung Win

Police in military-ruled Burma have seized more than 89 kilograms of heroin packed inside a container on a ship leaving Burma's former capital Rangoon. The seizure was made on Jan. 25, Rangoon police told reporters.

The Singaporean-flagged ship Kota Tegap came from Rangoon's Asia World Port Terminal, built and owned by a notorious drug-trafficking family. The company is one of those singled out for sanctions by the U.S. Treasury Department.

Police seized the heroin at the mouth of the Rangoon River after the ship had left port. The container, which was bound for Singapore, is owned by The Myanmar Timber Enterprise, a government-owned business also under U.S. sanctions.

According to the Rangoon police force, the ship's containers had not been inspected by Burmese customs officials.

High-ranking government officials and prominent businessmen are now being questioned by Burma's Special Police Force, according to police.

Burma is the world's number-two producer of opium, the raw material for heroin, after Afghanistan.

Most of Burma's poppy fields are located in the lawless mountainous region of the eastern Shan state, near Burma's borders with Laos and Thailand, the so-called Golden Triangle.

Original reporting by RFA’s Burmese service. Burmese service director: Nancy Shwe. Executive producer: Susan Lavery.

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