In an exclusive interview with India Today NE, U Maung Maung, a council member of the National Unity Consultative Council, has raised concerns over alleged arms sales by India to Myanmar.
Maung Maung stated that the issue of drug trafficking is not limited to India alone but is also a pressing concern within Myanmar. He expressed his apprehensions regarding the alleged arms transactions between the two nations.
This revelation follows a United Nations report released on May 19, which claimed that India had supplied arms and related materials worth $51 million (Rs 422 crore) to the Myanmar military since the coup in February 2021. UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, Tom Andrews, disclosed that several countries, including India, Russia, China, Singapore, and Thailand, provided military support to the Myanmar junta.
While India's assistance was lower in comparison to Russia, China, and Singapore, it exceeded that of Thailand. Andrews highlighted that Russia and China remained the primary suppliers of advanced weapons systems to the Myanmar military, accounting for over $400 million and $260 million, respectively.
However, what sets India's involvement apart is its connection to arms dealers in Singapore. According to the UN report, arms dealers operating out of Singapore played a critical role in supporting the Myanmar military's weapons factories, commonly known as KaPaSa. It was revealed that supplies worth $254 million were shipped from numerous entities in Singapore to the Myanmar military between February 2021 and December 2022.
Overall, the Myanmar military reportedly imported at least $1 billion in arms and raw materials for weapon manufacturing since February 2021. UN Special Rapporteur Tom Andrews described the report as the most detailed study on post-coup arms transfers to the Myanmar military.
In a concerning development related to the ongoing violence in Manipur, intelligence sources on June 27 disclosed that arms used to fuel the unrest in the region were smuggled via Myanmar. According to reports from India Today, a substantial consignment of weapons entered Manipur through the Myanmar route in June 2023.
Confidential sources also revealed that active insurgent groups in Manipur had acquired a significant cache of weapons, which were transported in three vehicles. It is suspected that these weapons were sourced from the Black Market located on the Myanmar-China border and subsequently transported to Manipur.
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