BNI English

Tuesday, Jul 29th

Last update04:28:19 PM GMT

ျမန္မာစာမ်က္ႏွာ
You are here: News KNG Two Monks Arrested For Smuggling Heroin

Two Monks Arrested For Smuggling Heroin

Two presiding Buddhist monks of the Tagontai Monastery in Mandalay were arrested in Mansi (Manje) city in Bhamo District, Kachin State while they were delivering a number of solid-heroin blocks ... Two presiding Buddhist monks of the Tagontai Monastery in Mandalay were arrested in Mansi (Manje) city in Bhamo District, Kachin State while they were delivering a number of solid-heroin blocks. Acting as carriers they collected the heroin from 105 Miles Border Trade Zone in Muse in northeast Shan State and were proceeding to Myitkyina, the capital of Kachin State, northern Burma, said a Mansi police source.

[KIO prepared to destroy its seizure of drug in Laiza HQ on Sino-Burma border in Kachin State in 2005.]

KIO prepared to destroy its seizure of drug in Laiza HQ on Sino-Burma border in Kachin State in 2005.
The Toyota Mini-van with five passengers including the two monks and their helper was stopped and checked near Mansi police station by police officer U Htun Kyin on October 4, 2008 (Saturday). The two Buddhist monks along with a helper were arrested around 10 p.m. for carrying 60 solid-heroin blocks (one carried 40 and the other carried 20) inside their typical monks' yellow-coloured bags, said police station sources.

The current price of the heroin blocks are estimated to be over 440 million Kyats (est. US $371,308). It was meant to be smuggled to the Indian border along the Myitkyina track, according to a Kachin Independence Army (KIA) officer in Laiza headquarters who knows about the heroin route in Kachin State.

The monks had the official Monk Identification Cards which revealed that they were presiding monks of the Tagontai Monastery in Mandalay, central Burma, added Mansi police sources.

Normally, the heroin is in powder form. However the shade and size of solid-heroin blocks depend on the original shape and size of hardware blocks, which has been popular for about two years now, said residents of Mansi.

A resident who has seen solid-heroin blocks before told KNG today, "The powdered heroin is made into solid blocks in rectangular shapes. The length of a block is about 9 inches and its height is about 3 inches. But the shapes of the blocks depend of the original hardware block."

After the arrest the same night, the two monks were quickly disrobed and put in Mansi prison cell. They were then sent to Bhamo based Narcotic Police Station for further investigations, said a resident of Bhamo.

They said, there was solid evidence to prove the two monks, aged 27 and 28, had carried the heroin from Muse in northeast Shan State to Myitkyina in Kachin State as special carriers for over three times. Now, the two monks have been detained in the prison cell in a police station in Bhamo Township.

Residents of Mansi told KNG that it is not unusual for Buddhist monks to get involved in smuggling heroin but it has never happened in Kachin State before where such a large amount of heroin was being smuggled out.