Authorities in Myanmar’s northern Shan state have seized more than U.S. $1.5 million worth of illegal drugs, timber, and cattle at a new inspection station for transport vehicles that opened two months ago, an official who works at the checkpoint said Thursday.
They transferred the drugs, which were headed to China, from the checkpoint in Yepu to a police station in the town of Theinni, said Teat Tun Aung, deputy director of the inspection station.
Authorities also recently seized two trucks carrying illegal timber and cattle headed for China, he said.
Within two months of opening the checkpoint, authorities have confiscated illegally transported items, including 888 grams (two pounds) of heroin and 74 head of cattle, totaling 2.23 billion kyats (U.S. $1.62 million), he said.
“We have seized illegal food that people shouldn’t eat, clothing, household goods, shoes, cattle, snakes, Padauk timber, and some chemicals to make medicine,” Teat Tun Aung said.
“We have transferred the timber, cows, and snakes to the state Forestry Department, he said.
Authorities will transfer other items, including clothing, food, and household goods brought from China with illegal documents, to the Customs Department.
Shan state and neighboring Kachin state are hotbeds of illegal drug and smuggling activities where ethnic rebel groups—some of which take part in the illegal activities—have engaged in periodic hostilities with Myanmar’s armed forces during the last few years.
Reported by Thiri Min Zin for RFA’s Myanmar Service. Translated by Khet Mar. Written in English by Roseanne Gerin.