Wed, Apr 04, 2018 - Page 5 News List

Thailand announces large drugs bust

Reuters, BANGKOK

Thailand has made one of its largest crystal methamphetamine busts, seizing 700 million baht (US$22.4 million) of the drug, police said yesterday, as the UN warned Southeast Asia was being flooded with illegal drugs from the “Golden Triangle” region.

Police said 700kg of the drug, known as ice, was seized on Wednesday last week in southern Chumpon Province and was destined for Malaysia.

Two Thais and two Malaysians were arrested in connection with the bust.

The methamphetamine market has expanded at an alarming rate in Southeast Asia.

In 2015, experts in several nations in the region reported an increase in the use of both crystalline methamphetamine and methamphetamine tablets.

Among amphetamines, methamphetamine represents the greatest global health threat, a UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) report said last year.

“These big seizures are indications that there is a relentless supply pumping out of the Golden Triangle and north Shan to flood Southeast Asian markets, and also transit Southeast Asia to high value markets like Australia, New Zealand and potentially further,” UNODC Southeast Asia Representative Jeremy Douglas said.

Police yesterday displayed the haul at a government compound north of Bangkok.

Also on display were 890 million baht of other illicit drugs, including cocaine, cannabis and ecstasy, seized in various busts in the week ending Sunday.

Most of the drugs were produced outside of Thailand and were trafficked through the nation en route to Australia, North America and Europe.

“The prices we announced are the values in Thailand,” said Police Lieutenant General Sommai Kongvisaisuk, commander of the Thai Narcotics Suppression Bureau. “Once the drugs pass through Thailand the prices will increase.”

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