4 million meth pills found in Myanmar Buddhist monastery near Rakhine, monk arrested

The authorities say the police discovered hundreds of thousands of the tablets in Arsara's car.

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Confiscated drugs Reuters (Representational Image)

A Buddhist monk was arrested in Myanmar for hiding more than four million methamphetamine pills in the monastery. The police discovered the tablets in Arsara's car as he was driving from Shwe Baho village in the town of Maungdaw in Rakhine state bordering Bangladesh.

Local police chief Kyaw Mya Win said at first the "police found 400,000 drug pills" when they conducted search in his vehicle on Sunday evening. "The police then went to the monk's monastery and found another 4.2 million pills," Win told AFP.

According to reports, Myanmar is one of the world's top narcotics-producing nations. It churns out huge quantities of methamphetamines as well as opium and cannabis. The meth pills are highly popular across Asia among all classes, from wealthy clubbers to exhausted blue-collar employees.

The police had confiscated a record 98 million stimulant tablets last year from Myanmar. The amount was nearly double the 50 million that was seized in 2015. As a result, drug prosecutions also jumped around 50 percent from 2015 to 13,500. The police believe that this has reflected the growth in the local drug trade.

In September 2016, the state media reported that two men were arrested for keeping 6.2 million methamphetamine tablets in their car in Maungdaw.