Myanmar burns $50 million of seized drugs

NAYPYIDAW — Myanmar burned opium and other illegal drugs with an estimated value of about $50 million on Sunday to mark the UN International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.

By (AFP)

Published: Sun 26 Jun 2011, 5:52 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 10:43 PM

‘We need to step up efforts to eradicate narcotic drugs by any means,’ Lieutenant General Ko Ko, the home affairs minister, said at a ceremony in the capital Naypyidaw.

The seized drugs included about 4.5 tonnes of opium and 146 kilograms of heroin, along with various other types of drugs.

‘Successive governments have strived to combat the abuse and trafficking of narcotic drugs which act as a barrier to the overall development of Myanmar,’ Ko Ko said.

Myanmar’s new military-backed government ‘will keep up the war against this problem until its roots are removed from our soil,’ he added.

Myanmar, the world’s second-largest opium producer after Afghanistan, has said it aims to eradicate illegal drugs by 2014.

Opium cultivation in the army-dominated nation rose by 20 percent in 2010, with its share of global production up from five percent in 2007 to 12 percent last year, the UN anti-narcotics agency said last week.

‘Opium production in Myanmar increased slightly because we have many difficulties — especially security reasons — destroying poppy farms in some areas,’ a senior Myanmar drugs official, who did not want to be named, told AFP.

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