The Australian co-founder and former chief editor of Yangon-based Myanmar Times newspaper Ross Dunkley was arrested by police at his apartment in Bahan township early Thursday morning allegedly in possession of a large amount of mehamphitamine tablets and crystal meth, according to a report in The Irrawaddy Online on Thursday.
Banhan township police chief, Pol Maj Thein Win, said police found 797 mehamphitamine pills and 303 grams of “ice” in Dunkley’s rented residence in San Yan Twin street. He added that Dunkley was charged under the anti-narcotics law and his allleged offence is punishable by death or unlimited jail term.
Dunkley’s arrest caused a stir among local netizens, coming as anti-narcotics police hunt suspects linked to a record drug bust in Malaysia’s Port Kelang in May and a day after they arrested one of the chief suspects, Haj Yassin, aka Maung Maung, in Mandalay division.
But Maj Thein Win denied there was any connection between the two cases, saying that Dunkley is a drug user rather than a drug dealer.
Dunkley established the Myanmar Times in 2000 in partnership with Sonny Swe, son of a notorious senior Myanmar military intelligence officer, Brig-Gen Thein Swe with the permission of then spy chief Khin Nyunt.
However, the entire military intelligence was disbanded by junta leader Senior-General Than Shwe in 2004 with Khin Nyunt and several senior intelligence officers being imprisoned.
Dunkley was jailed about one month in 2011 for assaulting and drugging a woman he met at a nightclub.
Myanmar Times is currently owned by Pepsi U Thein Tun and publishes both Burmese and English newspapers.