$17m Ecstasy haul Myanmar’s biggest-ever drug bust

Myanmar authorities off the coast of Tenasserim Division say they have seized nearly 2.4 million Ecstasy pills valued at more than US$17 million, the largest drug bust in Myanmar’s history, The Irrawaddy reported.

Border guard police officers intercepted the Ecstasy-laden boat at around 4 pm on Aug 19, according to Police Brig-Gen Kyaw Win, as the ship was headed to Malaysia from Kawthaung, the southernmost port town in Myanmar.  Police said they believed Myanmar was being used as a transit point for the drugs, which were destined for Malaysia and eventually the United States.

“The name of the drug is Ecstasy. It amounted to 2.385 million tablets,” Kyaw Win told The Irrawaddy. “There are two kinds of logos on the Ecstasy. One is Nike, and the other is RM.”

Police seized 297 bags of the “Nike” branded pills and 180 bags of the “RM” variety, with each bag containing 5,000 ecstasy tablets, according to Kyaw Win, who serves on the Ministry of Home Affairs’ Central Committee for Drug Abuse Control.

All 15 men who were onboard the boat have been detained.

Kyaw Win claimed the Ecstasy was not produced in Myanmar, though he did not indicate where authorities suspected the pills originated from, and said the investigation was ongoing.