The north-eastern state of Mizoram that shares border with Myanmar is emerging as a major route for drug trafficking from Myanmar according to a report on the Economic Times. The state reportedly provides a route for the smuggling of Yaba tablets (methamphetamine or meth) and other synthetic drugs to not just the northeastern region but also to Bangladesh and Sri Lanka and other states within India.
According to the report, the drug smuggling is benefitting some terrorist groups in Myanmar. During a visit earlier this week of the Foreign Secretary and the Army Chief to Myanmar, security partnership was a main item. Citing the claim of a Myanmar media outfit, the Irrawaddy, the report claims that NGOs in Mizoram are demanding the 500km long border that the state shares with Myanmar to be fenced as drugs worth US Dollars 136,526 were seized in February-March this year.
As per the same report of the Irrawaddy cited by the Economic Times, experts claimed that during the end of the last century, drug cartels in the Golden Triangle, which is the meeting point of the borders of Myanmar, Thailand and Laos, switched to the production of the drug meth which resulted in the drug becoming more preferred than heroin. Meth has also become popular in Thailand where it is called ‘yaba’ or ‘crazy drug’ and also in Bangladesh where it is known as ‘baba’.
Shan state of Myanmar, which is said to be the biggest producer of yaba tablets, reportedly houses makeshift factories that produce over a billion tablets every year in the region. These tablets are then smuggles to other countries of Asia, Europe and America. According to a report of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime cited in the ET report, India reported a rise in the seizures of amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS) from up to 431 kg in 2018 to over 2.2 tons in 2019.