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Bkk Post -Wa soldiers caught with d
- Subject: Bkk Post -Wa soldiers caught with d
- From: tinkyi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
- Date: Wed, 18 Aug 1999 22:15:00
Subject: Bkk Post -Wa soldiers caught with drugs and dealer list
Bangkok Post - Aug 18, 1999.
Wa soldiers caught with drugs and dealer list
A list of drug dealers has been seized from two soldiers of the United Wa
State Army who were arrested near the San Ton Du border checkpoint.
Also found on the Wa by members of an infantry unit were 200 methamphetamine
pills and two grenades.
It was the first arrest since the closure of the San Ton Du checkpoint in
Mae Ai district early this month, said Col Chatchapat Yaem-ngarmriab,
commander of the 17th Infantry Regiment.
The two soldiers were spotted at Chong Khao Laem, 1km from the San Ton Du
checkpoint which leads to the Wa stronghold of Mong Yawn in Shan state, by
an infantry patrol.
They allegedly had been ordered to collect money from Thai dealers in
payment for 40,000 speed pills.
Col Chatchapat said the arrest confirmed reports that some members of the
ethnic Wa forces have been involved in the illicit drug trade.
Earlier, Tatung, commander of the UWSA's East Region in Mong Yawn, had
dismissed allegations Wa soldiers were engaged in drug trafficking. Tatung
said he would pay 100,000 baht per speed pill seized from any Wa person.
The arrest prompted the deployment of troops to stem drug smuggling in
territory opposite the Wa-controlled area, said Col Chatchapat.
He said many stolen motorcycles had been smuggled across the border into
Mong Yawn to transport drugs.
The closure of the checkpoint, designed to impede development of Mong Yawn,
is understood to have taken its toll on Wa money-laundering operations.
Officials have long believed the Wa used drug profits to buy building
materials and other supplies to turn Mong Yawn from a remote village into a
bustling and prosperous town.
About 10% of the estimated 5,000 skilled Thai workers engaged in Mong Yawn
have returned home ahead of the Aug 20 deadline.