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US Indicts Eight Burmese Suspected Drug Traffickers - 2005-01-25


The United States has indicted and is seeking the arrest of eight Burmese nationals on charges of drug-smuggling.

Federal officials in New York made the announcement Monday, saying all eight are charged with manufacturing and distributing heroin and methamphetamines. All are at large.

Authorities say the suspects are leaders of a group called the United Wa State Army, based in eastern Burma. The group controls some 16,000 troops and large swaths of opium-producing land. It says it is seeking an independent state, but U.S. officials say it is a criminal syndicate and global drug trafficker -one of the largest such organizations in the world.

The United States has offered a two-million-dollar reward for one member, Wei Hsueh Kang, who was also indicted in the United States in 1993 for heroin-trafficking.

Information for this story is provided by AP.

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