Kuki-Chin terrorists generate fund through transnational drug trafficking

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Kuki-Chin terrorists, Kuki-Chin, Bangladesh, Dawood Ibrahim, D-Company, Kuki-Zo

While Kuki-Chin terrorists in Bangladesh’s hill tracts areas as well as Kuki-Zo in Indian state of Manipur are becoming news headlines for the past several weeks due to their separatist activities with the common goal to carve out a Christian state like East Timur taking parts of Bangladesh, India and Myanmar; according to sources, these groups also are involved in cultivation and trafficking of narcotics – including cocaine and marijuana to a number of Western countries by forming alliance with transnational narco-trafficking cartels, including infamous terror-don Dawood Ibrahim’s D-Company. As a result, almost hundred percent of Kuki community members in Bangladesh, Myanmar and India have switched from cultivating vegetable or fruits to poppy and marijuana cultivation, as it ensures the substantial amount of cashflow.

In April, 2024, N. Biren Singh, chief minister of Manipur told media, thousands of hectares of land are used for poppy cultivation in areas near the international border with Myanmar.

It may be mentioned here that, Manipur sits adjacent to the infamous “Golden Triangle”, an area in Southeast Asia covering Myanmar. The UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) defines the region as one of the “biggest drug trafficking corridors in the world”. Heroin, opium and synthetic drugs like methamphetamine from the region are “feeding the whole of the Asia Pacific [region]”, the UN said.

According to Vivekananda Research Foundation, the northeast region of India has been inflicted with long-standing separatist insurgencies. Since the 1950s, this region has witnessed frequent ethnic conflicts as well as insurgent violence.

In the recent past, the overall situation in the region has significantly improved, although the security challenges remain present. Over the past few decades, illegal drug trafficking from the Golden Triangle via Mizoram and Manipur has been a serious concern for India. Golden Triangle, a geographical area infamous for its illicit drug trade, encompasses portions of Myanmar, Laos, and Thailand.

It is one of the global hubs of opiate and methamphetamine production and the largest producer of narcotics in Southeast Asia. Manipur, being the border state with Myanmar, which is a part of the Golden Triangle, has made this State vulnerable and prone to the illicit trafficking of drugs and narcotic substances. The geographical characteristics of this region, accompanied by active insurgent groups, provide a space for the nexus between insurgent organizations and transnational drug syndicates, which have serious implications for the internal security of the northeastern region of India.

According to research-scholar Julia Madureira, Myanmar’s drug trade is thriving after a military coup in 2021, which ended a brief 10-year democratic experiment and re-imposed complete military governance. The ruling junta faces continuing armed resistance from rebel and ethnic groups.

A spokesperson from one of these groups told Radio Free Asia, the Ta’ang National Liberation Army, drug production has flourished unchecked in regions where there is a high military presence and military forces have even participated in the drug trade themselves.

“The drug trade has increased since the military coup”, Lt. Col. Mai Aik Kyaw told Radio Free Asia. “We sometimes have to go into towns to seize drugs [because the junta isn’t effectively policing the trade]”, he said, noting that the T.N.L.A. also has to plug gaps the junta is leaving in the nation’s drug rehabilitation programs.

Apart from the junta’s direct influence, the increased poverty and lack of economic opportunity fueled by the political instability are also pushing farmers to fall back on the drug trade.

Similarly, in Bangladesh’s Chittagong Hill Tract areas, Kuki-Chin terrorists are involved in cultivation of marijuana as well as trade in Heroin, opium and synthetic drugs such as methamphetamine – also known as meth or yaba, which the generally circulate within Bangladesh.

A significant portion of proceeds from drugs are being used for buying weapons and explosives and continuing terrorist activities.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. Kuki’s are the Britain’s colonial Christo fodders, as much as the Rohingya’s are to the British policymakers and their partners – USA.

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