Clarification by Maj-Gen Zaw Min Tun, SAC’s Information Team Leader, on the arson attack at the WFP warehouse in Maungtaw and drug smuggling of AA terrorists

I would like to clarify today’s misinformation about Tatmadaw and Bengalis destroying the World Food Programme warehouse located south of Maungtaw-Buthidaung Road in Maungtaw Township. There were offices and warehouses of the United Nations organizations such as UNHCR and WFP before. However, they had already left in May after the fighting had become intense in Rakhine State, and there were only Bengali guards. What is more, the security forces and Tatmadaw have not been able to enter those areas; therefore, Tatmadaw forces can conduct security measures to protect those areas. On 21 June, the joint team of Tatmadaw and Myanmar Police Force from Maungtaw went on patrol. While patrolling, a fire exchange occurred between Tatmadaw forces and AA terrorists in Waitharli Village, which is situated in the east of WFP’s offices and warehouses. During the clash, it was observed that AA terrorists mainly used drones. During the clash, AA terrorists tried to invade the WFP warehouses many times to take food and goods from there. We’ve learned that there were pro-AA Rakhine ethnics in those invaders, according to Bengali residents. Bengali residents have already moved the food and goods to safe places located in surrounding areas in order not to be taken by AA terrorists on 21 June. On 22 June, AA terrorists scouted with drones and dropped bombs on WFP warehouses. Thus, some warehouses were destroyed and burnt down. I would like to stress that it is observed in the photos released by AA terrorists. It can be seen that the United Nations logo is clearly written on the roofs of the warehouses and the offices. Therefore, it was an intentional attack. Roofs of the warehouses were exploded and damaged due to the drop bombs explosion. The Bengalis informed Tatmadaw security troops about evacuated rice bags. Therefore, Tatmadaw security forces delivered rice bags to more than 2,000 resident households from Nos 1, 2, 3, and 4, as well as Kanyintan and Maungni villages in Maungtaw.
AA, for the time being, has already driven out Bengalis from Buthidaung Township; AA terrorists planned to grab those foods and goods that are already designated to donate to Bengalis and IDPs at the same time while AA is seeking to attack Maungtaw. When AA observed that they failed to grab those foods and goods, they dropped bombs on the warehouses and made up stories.
Let’s go to AA’s drug smugglings. There were 46 drug cases seized in the Rakhine sea route from 2019 to May 2024, arresting 266 convicted criminals. Most detainees are linked with AA. A total of 28.5 million stimulants, 41 tonnes of ICE, and 1.4 tonnes of ketamine were impounded. AA has been engaging in drug trafficking since its establishment. AA’s aim in spreading drugs within the region is to deceive the public more easily to join AA armed groups if the public is addicted to drugs, to buy weapons and ammunition, and to support illegally. Aung Myat Kyaw, a lieutenant colonel of AA terrorists who was captured in 2016, admitted that he carried weapons, ammunition, and drugs from PyinOoLwin to Yangon and from Hpa-an to Yangon in 2015 as per an order made by Tun Mratt Naing. His confession was also aired in front of the state media. ICE and caffeine were seized in December 2023. Terrorists hired vehicles, boats, and warehouses in the process. AA terrorists’ networks conduct those.
It is noted that AA terrorists are trying to produce stimulant tablets within Rakhine State by using ICE and caffeine. The number of pills and drugs that were seized is found to be more than the amount that the entire population in Rakhine State can use. Rakhine State is used as the point to trade the drug with other countries via sea route.
Therefore, AA terrorists’ drug trafficking activities and intention to produce drugs in Rakhine State are not only destroying the people in Myanmar but also leading to creating drug-related terrorism in the region. We urge all to be aware of that. I encourage everyone to oppose the groups involved in drug trafficking and terrorism.
Thank you.

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