• Thursday, Feb 21, 2019
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Myanmar Times founder arrested on drug charges

  • Published at 11:04 am June 8th, 2018
  • Last updated at 08:05 pm June 8th, 2018
Ross Dunkley, co-founder of the Myanmar Times newspaper, is escorted by Myanmar policemen in 2011 AFP

Former chief editor and co-founder, Ross Dunkley, was in possession of 797 yaba pills and 303 grams of crystal methamphetamine

Myanmar Times co-founder and former chief editor, Ross Dunkley, has been arrested for being in possession of a large quantity of yaba pills and crystal methamphetamine.

Yangon police arrested him from his apartment in the Bahan Township in of Myanmar’s capital, early Thursday morning, reports the Irrawaddy.

According to the Irrawaddy, Dunkley, an Australian national, was in possession of 797 yaba pills and 303 grams of crystal methamphetamine at his rented residence in on San Yay Twin Street. 

Bahan township’s police chief, Major Thein Win, confirmed the incident to the Irrawaddy. Maj Thein Win said the police haves opened filed a case against Dunkley under the Anti-Narcotics Law. The multiple charges are punishable by an unlimited jail term or the death penalty.

Several other news outlets reported that one foreigner and six local people, including some women, were handcuffed at the Bahan police station. It was is unclear what the other detainees were accused of.

According to Bahan police, the suspects were taken for  remanded on Thursday. Further investigation will be conducted before they are sent to court, said the Irrawaddy.

Dunkley’s arrest caused a stir among locals, coming as anti-narcotics police hunt for suspects linked to a record drug bust in Malaysia’s Port Kelang in May;. and Dunkley was picked up a day after the arrest of one of the chief suspects, Haj Yassin, aka Maung Maung, in the Mandalay division of Myanmar, reports the Irrawaddy.

However, Maj TheinBahan police chief, Win, denied there was any connection. He said: “This case has nothing to do with Maung Maung. In fact, he [Dunkley] is a drug user rather than a drug dealer.”

Australian Ambassador to Myanmar, Nicholas Coppel, told the Irrawaddy that he currently has no information regarding the matter as of yet.

Dunkley was previously sentenced in 2011, to about one month in prison, for about one month in 2011 for drugging and assaulting a 29-year-old woman he met at a nightclub.