The two sides also decided to exchange information on illegal entry and exit points of illicit drug trafficking on the borders

India and Myanmar held the 5th Bilateral Meeting on Drug Control Cooperation on Thursday where they agreed on the exchange of intelligence information promptly to conduct follow-up investigations in drug seizure cases, new psychotropic substances, and their precursors.

“They also agreed to conduct Border Level Officers/Field Level Officers meetings on a regular basis between frontline officers to strengthen the existing cooperation on drug law enforcement,” said a statement by the Ministry of Home Affairs.

The meeting was held virtually between the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), India, and the Central Committee on Drug Abuse Control, Myanmar.

The Indian delegation was led by the Director-General Narcotics Control Bureau Rakesh Asthana, and the Myanmar delegation was led by the Commander of the Drug Enforcement Division (DED) cum Joint Secretary of the Central Committee for Drug Abuse Control, Pol. Brig. Gen. Win Naing.

During the meeting, it was decided to exchange information on illegal entry and exit points of illicit drug trafficking on the Myanmar-India borders and information on the technology being used to interdict drug trafficking.

NCB DG Asthana highlighted issues particularly the trafficking of Heroin and Amphetamine Type Stimulants (ATS) in the country. He said that the high prevalence of drug abuse in the North Eastern States abutting the Myanmar border is a major cause of concern for India.

Apart from the porosity of the India-Myanmar border, drug trafficking through the maritime route in the Bay of Bengal has emerged as a new challenge for both countries. NCB has remained committed to strengthening the existing mechanism of sharing information and assistance with Myanmar, for combating the drug menace in the region.

The Commander of DED, Pol. Brig. Gen. Naing elaborated on the growing threat of the production of yaba tablets (methamphetamine) which has caused grave concern in the region, even though the cooperation mechanism between Myanmar and India has been enhanced over the past years. He urged India to develop frequent information exchange on the trafficking of drugs and precursor smuggling activities at every level.

The meeting concluded with the exchange of thanks and greetings for constructive and meaningful discussions and committed to such cooperation in the future, with the decision to hold the 6th India - Myanmar Bilateral Meeting on Drug Control Cooperation in India in 2021.