Australian publisher Ross Dunkley arrested in drugs case


Australian publisher Ross Dunkley. Photo: EPA

Australian publisher Ross Dunkley. Photo: EPA

Bahan Township Police Force Chief Pol. Maj. Thein Win confirmed the news of Myanmar Times founder, former executive officer and editor-in-chief of this media, Mr. Ross Dunkley, was arrested and remanded for two weeks in connection with a narcotics case.

In an early morning search of the residence of Mr. Dunkley on June 7, police claim to have found methamphetamine tablets and crystal meths, popularly known as “Ice”, in his possession.

Pol. Maj. Thein Win said, “We have registered case against him and the court remanded him for two weeks starting from June 7.”  

He added that the accused was currently remanded for two weeks for investigation and the police would seek an extension if their investigation has not been completed in this time.

Local news reports say another foreigner was arrested in the police raid. Mr John McKenzie, 63, is reported to be either Australian or British.

In response to a question of whether this involved drug trafficking as against possession, Pol. Maj. Thein Win noted, “He is not arrested in connection with big drug traffickers at present. We have to call an interpreter who has fluency in English for the investigation in this case as we are not good at the English language so that we have a little bit of difficulty in the investigation.”

The police report that 797 methamphetamine tablets and 303 grams of Ice were found at the rented house of the accused Mr. Ross Dunkley situated in Sanyaydwin Street, Bahan Township. Police registered a case against him under sections 19(a), 20(a) and 21(a) of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Drug Law and an investigation is underway.

He was also arrested in 2011 in assault case against a woman and was given a one-month prison sentence and fine.  

Mr. Ross Dunkley founded and published Myanmar Times in English and Myanmar in partnership with Sonny Swe, son of the then senior military intelligence officer Brig. Gen. Thein Swe, while the military regime was in power.

But Tun Commercial Bank Chairman Thein Tun bought all rights of Myanmar Times in October 2014 and since then Mr. Dunkley has not been working in the Myanmar media community.

Mr. Dunkley is also the founder of the Phnom Penh Post in Cambodia.

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