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Thailand, Myanmar Burn More Than $2 Billion in Seized Drugs

Firefighters spray water as flames and smoke rise from burning illegal drugs during a destruction ceremony to mark International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking outside Yangon, Myanmar, June 26, 2020.

Authorities in Myanmar and Thailand say they destroyed more than $2 billion in seized illegal drugs Friday to mark the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.

In Bangkok and in Thailand's Ayutthaya province to the north, government officials incinerated 25 tons of confiscated drugs, including methamphetamine, "ice," ecstasy, cocaine and heroin.

National Police Lieutenant General Wisanu Prasarthong-osoth told the Reuters news agency drug dealers have not let the COVID-19 lockdown slow them down. He said they have resorted to sending drugs through the mail and other parcel delivery services.

In Myanmar's capital, Yangon, the national police force burned $144 million worth of seized drugs. Confiscated drug stockpiles were also destroyed in Mandalay, Lashio and the Shan State capital, Taunggyi.

The country remains the second biggest producer of heroin and the source of most of South East Asia's methamphetamine, which is mostly produced in border regions outside the government's control, authorities said.

The U.N. General Assembly passed a resolution in 1987 designating June 26 as the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking as an expression of its determination to strengthen action and cooperation to achieve the goal of an international society free of drug abuse.