India-Myanmar Bilateral Meeting on Drug Control Operation

The fifth India-Myanmar Bilateral Meeting on Drug Control Operation was recently held. During the meet, the Narcotics Control Bureau of India and the Central Committee on Drug Abuse Control of Myanmar agreed to exchange timely information to conduct follow up investigation on new psychotropic substances, drug seizures. Also, they agreed to conduct regular field level officer meetings, border level officers meet between frontline officers to improve the cooperation on drug enforcement.

Background

According to the recently released Smuggling in India report, 2020, Mizoram has emerged as one of the major drug trafficking routes from Myanmar. Synthetic drugs and Yaba tablets are being smuggled into the North East from Myanmar. This is mainly because the Golden Triangle region where the border of Thailand, Myanmar and Laos meet has switched its production of meth into a more lucrative trade than heroin. The meth is called “Yaba” in Thailand and “baba” in Bangladesh.

India-Myanmar

India and Myanmar are building a trilateral highway and the Kaladan Multi-modal Transit Transport Project. The multimodal project will link Kolkata to Sittwe. And also, the project will link Myanmar’s Kaladan river to India’s North East.

India is concerned over the militant groups of North Eastern Region taking shelter in Myanmar. They are National Democratic Front of Bodoland and the United National Liberation Front. In May 2020, Myanmar handed over 22 cadres of Indian insurgent groups.

India and Myanmar recently signed ten agreements in various fields such as energy, communication, health, infrastructure. The current bilateral trade between the countries stand at 1.7 billion USD. India is the fifth largest trading partner of Myanmar.

Why is Myanmar important to India?

Myanmar is the only ASEAN country bordering India. According to India, Myanmar is a gateway to South East Asia. India has laid emphasis to boost cooperation with Myanmar under its Act East Policy and Neighbourhood First Policy.

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