11th Destruction of Narcotic Drugs Ceremony

11th Destruction of Narcotic Drugs Ceremony, 1996


  • Secretary-1 of the State Law
    and Order Restoration Council and members
  • Resident Representatives of UN
  • Diplomats and Military
  • Representatives of the UN Drug
    Control Programme
  • Foreign Media Personnel
  • Local Media Personnel
  • Invited Guests

    11th Destruction of Seized
    Narcotic Drugs


    Your excellency, Secretary
    (1) and members of the State Law and Order Restoration Council, Chairman,
    Vice-chairmen and members of the Central Committee for Drug Abuse Control,
    Heads of Departments, Resident Representatives of the United Nations
    Agencies, members of the Corps of Diplomats, Military Attaches, local and
    foreign reporters, journalists and Distinguished Guests; I am Police Major
    General Soe Win, Director General of the Myanmar Police Force and Secretary
    of the Central Committee for Drug Abuse Control.

    Let me first express my
    heartfelt gratitude to all of you for giving some of your valuable time in
    spite of your numerous calls of duties, to attend today’s significant
    occasion, at which seized narcotic drugs will be publicly set ablaze for the
    eleventh time.

    Today’s ceremony is in honour
    of the 50th Anniversary of the Union Day of Myanmar and the 52nd Anniversary
    of the Armed Forces Day.

    Excellencies, Distinguished

    Today’s presentation will be
    conducted in three parts. In the first part, I shall highlight the
    activities concerning law enforcement. In the second part, Police Colonel
    Maung Maung Than, Director of Criminal Investigation Department, will
    explain in detail the amount of drugs to be burnt today. For the third part,
    a short documentary on the significant drug control activities will be shown
    on the video.

    Excellencies, Distinguished

    Time and again, we were
    advised by various UN agencies and diplomats to utilize the drugs that we
    were destroying, particularly drugs like opium, morphine and phensedyl. This
    practice is common in other countries and accepted by the International
    Narcotics Control Board.

    We are quite aware that it is
    an acceptable practice to utilize drugs seized from illegal trafficking and
    also fully aware of the street value of the drugs we have burned. However,
    we do burn them because we would like to show the world to know the extent
    of our hatred and abhorrence for the narcotic drugs, the common denominator
    of mankind; because we would like to instill in the hearts and minds of the
    international community, the will to fight this evil menace and also because
    we would like to let the world know the extent of our achievements to that

    These drugs bedeviling the
    whole of mankind are being produced by the relentless greed of the few. We
    can find no pleasure in exploiting and capitalizing on things that are
    produced with evil intentions. These products are best befitted only for
    destruction and nothing else.

    Excellencies, Distinguished

    I wish to continue my
    presentation with significant activities and achievements of our country
    during the year 1996-

    The Law Enforcement Sector in
    our country comprises of the Tatmadaw, the Myanmar Police Force and the
    Customs Department and it is significant that due to the fact that illicit
    drug production is connected to the insurgent factions, the Tatmadaw takes a
    lead role in drug suppression and enforcement. The significant seizures of
    1996 stands testimony to the success of the leadership of the Tatmadaw.

    Drug seizures by law
    enforcement agencies in 1996 are as follows-

    • Opium 1300.00 kgs.
    • Heroin 504.60 kgs.
    • Morphine 13.81 kgs.
    • Marijuana 1789.86 kgs.
    • Acetic Anhydride 5081.55
    • Heroin Refineries 13 nos.
    • Precursor Chemicals
      (liquid) 5106.39 gals.
    • Precursor Chemicals
      (powder) 3074.80 kgs.
    • Methamphetamine Tablets
      5,906,555 tablets

    These are record seizures of
    heroin, precursor chemicals and heroin refineries during the tenure of the
    State Law and Order Restoration Council.

    In this regard, there arises
    a question. Is this increase in the seizure an indication of an increase in
    the production of illegal drugs?

    Actually, the production of
    illegal drugs had dramatically declined in our country. In 1996, the MTA
    surrendered unconditionally, which led to the occupation of the Homein
    region by Government security forces; administrative bodies were set in
    motion and multi-sector integrated developments were being implemented. Also
    in the Kokang region, as the local leaders requested the development of
    their region under the auspices of the government, similar actions were
    undertaken there.

    In addition, the Special
    Region No. 4 in the Eastern Shan State, Opium Free Zones were established
    successfully and will be totally free of poppy cultivation in 1997. To these
    effects, our law enforcement agencies now have access even to the far
    reaches of the border areas and interdiction measures could be taken to
    prevent the illegal drugs from being trafficked to the international

    Since foreign access were
    denied, illegal drugs detoured into the country to find new markets and
    trafficking routes, interdiction measures had to be escalated. Hence the
    increase in the seizures of illegal drugs was noticed.

    Excellencies, Distinguished

    Precursor chemicals used for
    the refining of heroin and manufacturing of stimulants are not produced in
    our country. Chemicals for industrial and licit use are imported legally
    only with the endorsement and approval of the Central Committee for Drug
    Abuse Control and the Ministry of Health. The use of such chemicals are also
    closely monitored and never was there an incident where these chemicals were
    diverted to be used for illegal purposes.

    When the situation for
    refining heroin in the border areas became unfavourable and slight, they
    shifted their refineries to inner regions like Theinni but was discovered
    and confiscated by our law enforcement agencies.

    Similarly, also in other
    areas, government troops were able to search and destroy several heroin
    refineries and also able to intercept the supply of precursor chemicals
    destined for those laboratories. In this context, we could say that it was a
    very successful year for supply reduction and law enforcement.

    The success can also be
    attributed to the cooperation of our neighbouring countries. It is a well
    known fact that Myanmar is actively participating in the drug control
    efforts in cooperation not only with neighbouring countries but also with
    countries in the region. I wish to take this opportunity to inform you that
    on the 22nd of this month, Myanmar and the Russian Federation signed an
    agreement for cooperation to combat drug trafficking.

    Excellencies, Distinguished

    I would like to report about
    the unusual seizure of stimulant drug methamphetamine in 1996. Nearly 6
    million tablets were confiscated at the border of Myanmar and Thailand.
    These drugs were interdicted on its way to the Thai market where the demand
    is very high. Although this is the first seizure of the kind in our country,
    we are aware that is has been a drug of choice and widely abused in the Asia
    region for over a decade. It is envisaged by the Chairman of CCDAC that as
    the production of heroin decline, stimulants will take it’s place.

    It is known that the
    precursor chemical for the manufacture of this stimulant is
    “Ephedrine,” which is extracted from ‘Ephedra” a natural
    plant. Ephedrine is not manufactured in our country but it is a common fact
    that neighbouring countries manufacture and export legally to international

    International experience
    indicates that these stimulant drugs are used by highway truck drivers,
    nightclub dancers, revelers and weight watchers to prevent sleepiness and
    hunger. But gradually they become dependent on the drug, eventually turning
    them into psycho maniacs causing car accidents, committing violent crimes
    and rape.

    We have planned and prepared
    to prevent the abuse of these drugs through the concerted efforts of
    enforcement, treatment and drug preventive education.

    Excellencies, Distinguished

    In conclusion, please may I
    state that the successes and progresses that I have just emphasized, and
    which were periodically made public and real facts. Much effort and energy
    are the inputs for the achievement of those victories. As the old saying
    goes “It is much easier said than done.”

    The fact that the fruit of
    these successes will greatly benefit not only the citizens of Myanmar but
    also those of the world community cannot be denied.

    Finally I would like to say
    that, even if our efforts and achievements are not appreciated; even if no
    outside assistance is forthcoming; we are determined to carry on with our
    endeavours for the benefit of Mankind.

    Thank you.

    Report presented by Police
    Colonel Maung Maung Than, Director of the Criminal Investigation Department
    and Member of the Law Enforcement Sector, CCDAC

    Esteemed guests,

    I am honoured to be allowed
    to carry on with the second part of the report.

    I am Police Colonel Maung
    Maung Than, Director of the Criminal Investigation Department, Myanmar
    Police Force, and member of the Law Enforcement Sector of CCDAC.

    The Myanmar Defense Services,
    the Myanmar Police Force and the Customs Department, in their line of duty
    to eradicate drug abuse in our country, has confiscated a substantial amount
    of narcotic drugs, which were handed over to CID after the trial of cases in

    l will first present to you
    the list of narcotic drugs soon to be set ablaze for the eleventh time in
    your esteemed presence.

    • Opium 766.073 kg
    • Heroin 424.364 kg
    • Opium oil 27.663 kg
    • Liquid opium 2.004 kg
    • Morphine 1.136 kg
    • Marijuana 164.337
    • Phensedyl 1354.675 litres
    • Cough mixtures containing
      opium 181.71 litres
    • Injections containing
      opium 272 ampoules
    • Mitragyna speciosa 0.848
    • Stimulants [Amphetamine
      tab.] 5285081 tablets.

    Esteemed guests,

    Now I will read out the
    accumulated list of narcotic drugs already destroyed in the ten previous
    occasions plus those to be destroyed today.

    • Opium 11912.825 kg
    • Heroin 1961.657 kg
    • Opium oil 109.694 kg
    • Liquid opium 119.892 kg
    • Morphine 64.571 kg
    • Marijuana 4246.505 kg
    • Phensedyl 26525.574 litres
    • Cough mixtures containing
      opium 854.005 litres
    • Injections containing
      opium 1225 ampoules
    • Mitragyna speciosa 2.414
    • Stimulants [Amphetamine
      tab.] 5285081 tablets.

    Esteemed guests,

    Please feel free to inspect
    the seized drugs displayed before you prior to torching these drugs with
    your own hands. I will now cut my report short for the great event, with a
    solemn promise that drugs seized in the future will be similarly dealt with.
    Thank you very much.