Refugees from Myanmar have been caught being involved in smuggling activities. These refugees, in connivance with the insurgent groups of north-east India, smuggle exotic foreign species of animals, drugs, and foreign cigarettes into India. The Champai district situated in the state of Mizoram, which shares a border with Myanmar, has become the nodal point of the smuggling of wild animals along with other objects. Manipur’s Moreh is another such area which has become a talking point due to similar circumstances.
Back in 2020, 2036 KGs of heroin was caught in Mizoram, which had reached the state from Myanmar. In 2021, 34.52 KGs of heroin was caught, and during the first six months of 2022, a total of around 20 KGs of heroin was caught. Out of the total 374 people arrested for having narcotic substances in possession and smuggling them, most are citizens of Myanmar. As per the local police, many drug rackets have involved many Mizo people into them. It has further been said that out of the Mizo people who were involved with Myanmar refugees in illegal activities, most have parted ways with crime, but some Myanmar citizens are now brainwashing them.
Myanmar and Mizoram share a border and in between the people living in the villages of Mizoram situated on the border, and most of the Myanmar refugees, there are relations of being from common tribes. Many have kin relations, like in the case of the Chin tribe. These people who are coming from Myanmar are also buying benami lands in the name of their relatives. There is a total of 30, 316 refugees from Myanmar in Mizoram, out of whom 11, 798 are children, and another 10, 047 are women. A total of 156 refugee camps have been made by the state government.
These refugees are involved in smuggling orangutans from Australia, after bringing them to Mizoram, they sell them to other places at high rates. Apart from this, items like dry betel nuts, drugs, clothes, and Burmese cigarettes are being smuggled by them in India.
These refugees are protected by the officers of the military dictator of Myanmar, and are helped by them to cross the borders. In 2021, Mizoram police had arrested a total of 12 Myanmar citizens with drugs, and this year, till the month of August, this number increased to 35.