5th India-Myanmar Bilateral Meeting on Drug Control Operation was held on 11 December 2020. During the bilateral meeting, the Narcotics Control Bureau of India (NCBI) 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.
According to the Smuggling in India report, 2020, Northeast stae 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.
Both countries are building a trilateral highway and the Kaladan Multi-modal Transit Transport Project (KMMTTP). The project will link Kolkata to Sittwe. And also, the multimodel project will link Kaladan river, Myanmar to North East region of India.
India is concerned over the militant groups of North Eastern states taking shelter in Myanmar. They are National Democratic Front (NDF) of Bodoland Territorial Region and the United National Liberation Front (UNLF). In May year 2020, Myanmar handed over 22 cadres of Indian insurgent groups.
Both countries recently signed 10 Memorandum of understanding in various fields such as energy, communication, health, infrastructure. The bilateral trade of India and Myanmar stand at $1.7 billion. India is the 5th largest trading partner of Myanmar.
Importance of Myanmar
Myanmar is the only ASEAN nations share international border with 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.
India-Myanmar Meeting on Drug Control Operation