Pills, terrorism concern water festival police

Police are cracking down on sex, drugs and terrorism in advance of this year’s Thingyan festivities.

Revellers planning on a bacchus may have to dampen their expectations as police plan to seize what they call “sex arousal” pills and will also be raiding guesthouses and hotels during the celebration.

The authorities warn that unknown side effects of the enhancement drugs can lead to rape.

Other illegal drugs and liquor will also be targeted in a series of measures to reduce crime over the Thingyan period.
“We conducted crime reduction education campaigns in each township and ward from March 1 to March 22.

But we started seizing sex arousal pills last year,” said Yangon Regional Police Captain Thi Thi Myint.

“Sex arousal pills were put on the banned list because they are included in National Medicine Act,” he said, adding that the pills were originally intended for older couples, but can be misused.

“People dissolve the pills in juice or liquor and commit crimes. Underage girls will be given the pills and raped while not knowing what they are doing. Consumers and sellers don’t know about the side effects.”

Police and health department officials will also check pharmacies to prevent the sale of sex pills during the festival.

During last year’s water festival, 15 people were killed and 198 injured in connection with traffic and other offences. The Ministry of Home Affairs also reported a surge in gambling, weapons possession, prostitution, narcotics, pick-pocketing, theft and the sale of uncensored videos.

To prevent illicit activities during Thingyan in Mandalay this year, more than 700 police will be deployed with officers attached to each pandal, as well as tourist attractions like the U Bein Bridge, Kyaut Taw Gyi Pagoda, Mandalay Hill and Kandawgyi Park, where Thingyan merrymakers take their rest at noon.

U Sein Tun, chief of Mandalay district police, said checkpoints will be posted to enhance security against terrorist acts this year.

“The checks at the border gates are aimed at avoiding violent attacks during the festival. We will also conduct spot checks in hotels and guesthouses to see if terrorists are staying there,” he said.

During Thingyan in 2010, bomb explosions in Yangon killed five partiers and injured hundreds more. A terrorist opposed to the then-ruling military junta was blamed for the attacks which occurred at a pandal allegedly sponsored by former Senior General Than Shwe’s grandson.

In addition to the extra security checks and raids, organisers will be instructed to fix security cameras on their pandals which cannot be sponsored by cigarette or alcohol companies.

Source: Myanmar Times

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