Myanmar monk is arrested over two huge drug hauls
A Buddhist monk arrested in Myanmar has been linked to more than four million methamphetamine pills hidden in a monastery, police say.
The monk was first stopped in Rakhine state with 400,000 tablets in his car.
No value has been placed on the hauls, although in 2015 the UN estimated the retail price of a methamphetamine tablet was about $2 – making the latest consignment worth about $9.2m (£7.3m).
Myanmar has emerged as a top producer of illegal drugs in recent years.
The senior monk, named only as Arsara, was arrested after police discovered the first consignment of tablets in his car as he was driving to the town of Maungdaw bordering Bangladesh.
The second batch in the monastery was found after he was arrested.
Arsara is well known among the Buddhist community in Maungdaw, The Irrawaddy reported, and had been a leading monk at the town’s Baho monastery.
Myanmar is notorious for producing vast quantities of methamphetamines, opium and cannabis, with drug trafficking a particular problem in Rakhine state.
Myanmar’s illicit drug trade has flourished because of its mountainous land and porous borders.