CAPE PANWA: The 5th Thailand-Burma Drug Law Enforcement Cooperation Meeting has ended on an upbeat note, participants said today. In a press conference held at noon at the Cape Panwa Hotel, officials from Thailand and Burma announced that it was decided at the one-and-a-half-day meeting to set up three “Border Drug Trafficking Control Centers” on the Thai-Burmese border. These will be at Chiang Rai-Thachilek; Mae Sot-Miawadee and Ranong-Koh Thong. Burmese officials also said that they have been making more progress in investigating and controlling drug trafficking, thanks to cooperation between the two countries. In addition, it was announced that the two countries will collaborate with Laos and China to control drug trafficking by exchanging information and techniques, by controlling precursor chemicals from which the drugs are made, and by developing human resources to ensure the efficiency of anti-narcotics officers. Both countries also agreed that it is crucial to control the drug trade along the Mekong River. The river originates in China, enters Laos near its border with Burma, and flows along the frontier between Thailand and Laos before entering Cambodia. Pol Maj Gen Soe Win, who led the Burmese delegation to the talks, said that although the world accuses his country of making drugs, neighboring countries know the truth – that Myanmar does not have the raw materials or the chemicals to make narcotics. These, he said, are imported from other countries by people manufacturing drugs in minority tribal areas along Burma’s border with Thailand. He added that Burma does not deny that drugs are made on its soil, but is trying to convince its people to stop making and using them. Burma is the main source of ya bah (methamphetamine), the most commonly abused narcotic in Thailand.
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