KIA Denies Govt Allegations of Drug Links
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Burma

KIA Denies Govt Allegations of Drug Links


By KO HTWE Tuesday, October 11, 2011


KIA troops march in Kachin Independence Army Day celebrations in Laiza in 2008. (Photo: The Kachinstate.com)
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The Kachin Independence Army (KIA) has denied government allegations that it is involved with drug trafficking by saying the reports are merely an attempt to discredit the armed group.

State-run newspaper The New Light of Myanmar reported on Tuesday that government troops confiscated 521,340 amphetamine pills, one machine for producing tablets, four tablet moulds and related equipment in a KIA Battalion 1-controlled area near Muse Township, in northern Shan State. Another 1,020 tablets of the stimulant were also reported found nearby.

“The incidents obviously prove that despite offering alternative reasons, the KIA group is producing and selling narcotic drugs that menace mankind,” said the report.

Speaking to The Irrawaddy on Tuesday, La Nan, the joint-secretary of the KIA's political wing the Kachin Independence Organization, denied the area was under KIA control and said that the government knows that narcotics have been distributed by militias there for a long time. 

“There are many incidents when [the government] has made narcotics arrests in the area but after receiving bribes they release the trafficker and it never gets published in the newspapers. But now they want to accuse Kachin groups of having links with narcotics,” said La Nan.

In August 2009, government troops defeated the Kokang ethnic armed group—otherwise known as the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army—and seized its capital of Laogai, in northeastern Shan State.

Burmese authorities said that they raided the city to search for drugs, and hundreds of refugees fled into China as a result of the fighting.

The city had long benefited from booming border trade with China and substantial Chinese investment, but it has come almost to a standstill since junta troops seized control on August 24.

La Nan also said that the area of Muse Township where this week's narcotics seizure took place was three miles away from KIA Battalion 9 and notorious for drugs despite being under the administration of the government.

“In 2006, the KIA also performed a drugs raid in the area and the government accused us of collecting bribes to stop our operation,” said La Nan.
 
The report also said that the Burmese government column seized one AK-47, 60 rounds of ammunition, two 60 mm mortars, one M-21, 12 assorted small arms, 16 assorted mines and 45 bags of gunpowder.

“We have no reason to keep weapons in that area. We do not have enough ammunition to distribute to the village,” said La Nan.

In 2010, the Burmese junta accused the KIA of being “insurgents” and blamed the group for a mine blast which killed two and injured one in Kachin State.

Loikang, near Kutakai Township, was the headquarters of KIA Brigade 4 but fell into government hands in September. The Brigade was based across northern Shan State but KIA Battalions 2 and 9, under Brigade 4, already lost their bases to advancing government soldiers.

Government newspapers also accused the KIA of opening fire at a work camp in Tima, near Muse Township of Muse District in Shan State, on September 21. Reports allege that three members of the Myanmar Police Force, three staff of the Myanmar Correctional Department, eight small arms and 55 prisoners were seized.

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Min Naing Aung Wrote:
13/10/2011
May be Aung Ye Naing Lin himself is a drug dealer too. How could you explain the association of Burmese government and the drug lords such as Lau Hse Han, Steven Law (son of Lau Hse San), Wa, Khun Sa and many others militias in Shan state who are well known for drug trafficking and laundering drug money. And the so-called civilian government still make cease-fire with these groups but not with any major ethnic groups who are signatory to the Pang Long Agreement, the foundation of Burma. We, Bamar should act like a real man and behave like a big brother and recognize their rights as promise by our here leader Aung San. It is time for us not to trap into trick of the few cowardly leaders who divide us and rule our great country from the wealthiest country in South East Asia to the poorest country in the world. Don't be a fool of the government!

MYAT MOE Wrote:
12/10/2011
Burmese gov should stop use trash politics to defame the ethnic opposition. That can back fire and damage credibility of gov.

chindits Wrote:
12/10/2011
Great how about you tell us how you made peace with Khun Sa and WA?

Mualcin Wrote:
12/10/2011
Shame on you. People who are controlling Burmese economy are children of drug lords. The Burmese regime has been associating with drug business for decades. But now it is throwing rocks at KIA. I feel so ashamed of this government.

Aung Ye Naing Lin Wrote:
12/10/2011
Everyone knows feeding a Whole army and supplying weapons is VERY EXPENSIVE. The only way is Drugs money. Please.... I know because a friend of mine is a drug dealer in Thailand he gets it from SSA, Wa, KIA, and some other Shan local militias in the country.

STOP LYING KIA!!!!

KACHIN LAY Wrote:
12/10/2011
This is same old trick. Everybody know who is producing drug and who is making money from it. The world is well aware the fact that most of the regime's cronies are drug cartel. KIO/KIA is not the drug related org.

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