It was amusing to hear that the so-called Arakan Army – AA blamed the State Administration Council’s announcement on the news about the case of the seizure of AA’s drug smugglings between December 3 and December 9 of 2023. In those cases, the government authorities seized more than MMK 51.87 billion (US$ 24 million) worth of 2.07 tonnes of ICE (Crystal Meth) and 800 Kilos of prohibited chemical caffeine from AA’s drug smugglers. According to my deep awareness of AA, their financial asset is mainly coming from the illegal business of drug smuggling and extortion from innocent people, and their strength is built up with the forcible recruitment, which all are intolerable acts by a real Arakan patriot, like me. It is the veracity of all Arakanese is that we can’t accept the acts of AA, which have been rendering the Rakhine state’s instabilities, and their traitorous acts, which have been connecting with the Bengali terrorists who put Arakanese in danger.
Before considering the AA’s involvement in drug-related criminal cases, we should notice a question about the AA's financial resources for buying arms and ammunition, and for providing salaries and facilities of their members. I am wondering if there is any good business run by AA and if there is, whether it is enough to get all the necessities for the survival of that insurgent group. I am so sure that there is no answer at all for that account. Thus, undeniably, the lifeblood of AA is coming from nowhere except drug smuggling and extortion.
In fact, AA run its business mainly based on drug smuggling from the very beginning under the guidance of their boss (the puppeteer) so-called Kachin Independence Army – KIA. AA has expanded the drug market by using overland and nautical smuggling routes. Primarily overland route to Bangladesh and India through Rakhine state, and nautical route to Malaysia and Indonesia. AA has stepped up its drug smuggling after 2016. Therefore, it happened frequently and heard about the seizure cases of AA’s drug traffickers and smugglers under the NLD government. Once in 2019 August, AA admitted that a smuggler (Khaing Khaing San) was a former AA member. Actually, she is not an ex-member but recruited by AA in 2015 when she was working in Thailand, and working for AA as a member of the fundraising group for drug-related business.
Nay Lin Tun, who was arrested for drug trafficking in December 2023, joined the No (5) basic military training course of AA base in Laiza due to the connection with a Monk, U Eain Da, from Ariyarwatha Monastery, KyiteAnn village. He has served from the Private rank to Sergeant with the AA identification no. AA-00104, and became the Second lieutenant with AA identification no. AC-0321 in October 2019.
Htun Lin also joined the AA training course together with Nay Lin Tun in October 2011 due to the contact with the presiding monk of Dat Khaung Monastery, U Tat Da Ma. His AA identification no. is AA-00138. After serving from Private to Warrant officer rank, he became Lieutenant in November 2019 with AA identification no. AC-0037.
Soe Htun joined AA in May 2012 through the recruitment of AA Captain Htun Aung Phyu and attended the basic military course No (8), which opened in Laiza Kachin training ground. With AA identification no. AA-00178, he has served from the Private rank to Sergeant. In March 2019, he has become Lieutenant with AA identification no. AC-0304.
Kyaw Han was recruited by AA in 2016 when he was living in MaHainKye ward of Mrauk-U township, and attended the basic course in Mee Wa Base, Na Ma Thar village, Kyauktaw township. Currently, he is a Sergeant with AA identification no. AA-00287. Htun Nu was also recruited and trained in Mee Wa AA’s Base in February 2022, and he is now serving as a Private with AA identification no. AA-18923.
Kyaw San Lin with AA Identification no. AA-15473 was recruited in May 2020. He joined No (57) basic military course in Laiza, now he is a Private.
All those AA insurgents, arrested for drugs-related offences are working for drug trafficking and fundraising under the command of AA Colonel Kyaw Myat Oo (aka) Maung Nai (aka) Law Pann (aka) Thar Thar (aka) Wai Thar Tun (who was holding National Registration Identity Card (NRIC) with the name ‘Kyaw Myat Oo’).
By knowing their drug-related history, it can be judged that the blatant lies about AA groups are not related to drug smuggling cases. Including AA, I will sooner or later expose the history of drug-related cases committed by three armed groups, so-called The Three Brotherhood Alliance. They all are blended in the drug-related criminal cases (one group is in cahoots with another).
We, the Rakhine people, don’t want the ruining of stability in our region for the sake of a small group of self-seeking Arakanese by exploiting their ethnicity and Rakhine state. Although AA armed terrorist group is formed with some Arakanese, it is not accepted by all innocent Rakhine people. Because they are just drug smugglers, a criminal gang, and they make money from drug smugglings, which can endanger humankind. Therefore, as a Rakhine Ethnicity who wants to get peace and stability in my surroundings, I wrote this letter to expose the undeniable fact of AA’s drug smuggling case to publicize the truth.
Maung Kyaw (Taungup)