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By Tun Tun
Burma and Bangladesh recently agreed to fight cross-border drug pedaling, putting an emphasis on preventing smuggling of the amphetamine yaba and poppy cultivation on the border, report official Bangladesh sources.

The fight is going to be carried out under a seven-point plan that was adopted in a two-day meeting between Burmese and Bangladesh officials.

"We adopted a seven-point plan in a two-day meeting that was held in Rangoon in the middle of this month. Officials from narcotics and law enforcement agencies of the two countries attended the meeting where the agreement was reached," Bangladesh official Khandker Mohammad Ali, Director General of the Department of Narcotic Control, was reported as saying by local media.

Mohammad Ali led the Bangladesh delegation comprised of police, Rapid Action Battalion, Border Guard Bangladesh, Coast Guard, Customs, and the ministries of home and foreign affairs, while the Burmese police chief, Major General Kyaw Kyaw Tun led the Burmese delegation.

At the meeting, the two countries emphasized stopping the smuggling of the stimulant yaba and poppy cultivation.

"At a two-day meeting we adopted and yielded the seven-point action plan that suggests intensified cross-border surveillance on the southeastern frontier," the official added.

At the meeting, the two delegations adopted the action plan that includes regular exchange of information on drug-related crimes and drug dealers, and increased security surveillance on the Naff River that separates the two countries, and increased surveillance on the common coastlines.

They said the agencies concerned agreed to intensify cooperation in spearheading the anti-drug campaign, including prosecuting the suspects.

The two sides decided to demolish the poppy plantations on both sides of the frontier and stop yaba smuggling to Bangladesh from Burma. Along the frontier areas of Burma and Bangladesh, particularly along the upper Singu River in Bangladesh and northern Buthidaung Township in Burma, there area some poppy fields cultivated by local tribespeople for sale on the local market.

Meanwhile, a large number of yaba tablets are pouring into Bangladesh markets through the Maungdaw border points in western Burma where Bangladesh authorities have been unable to stop it.

The meeting mainly saw discussion on checking the smuggling of drugs, especially yaba and heroin, in line with an agreement inked between the two countries in 1994.
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