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Another drug bust near the Mekong River, 500 kilograms of cannabis seized

Caitlin Ashworth




In another drug bust in Northeastern province Nakhon Phanom, police arrested a man and seized 500 kilograms of compressed cannabis. Just yesterday, border patrol police in the province seized 920 kilograms of compressed cannabis from a boat on the Mekong River. In both cases, police suspect the cannabis came from Laos, just across the river.

Police say they searched a black Nissan Navara pickup around 1am in the province’s Na Kae district. Police opened the truck’s bed cover and found 12 sacks with 500 packages of dried, compacted cannabis. Each package of cannabis weighed 1 kilogram, similar to the previous bust on the river.

28 year old Saravut Butngam was arrested. Saravut previously worked in construction, but has recently been unemployed. He allegedly told police that a man called him with an opportunity to make 50,000 baht. He was told to drive the pickup truck from a petrol station in the Na Kae district to a specified location in the neighbouring province Sakon Nakhon, police say. From there, another driver would take over.

Border police commander Sippanan Sornkhunkaew says he suspects the cannabis seized in the province was trafficked from Laos across the Mekong River. He says he believes the cannabis was planned to be trafficked to Southern Thailand and then smuggled across the border, possibly to Malaysia.

On Sunday morning, police confiscated 920 kilograms of cannabis from a boat on the Mekong River. When police approached the boat, men jumped off onto a smaller boat and fled the scene. The dried, compacted cannabis was wrapped in 1 kilogram packages.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post


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  1. Avatar

    Steven Hughes

    Monday, March 1, 2021 at 6:14 pm

    And what is the problem as it is legal to grow this in Thailand lol a waist of police time

    • Avatar


      Monday, March 1, 2021 at 9:03 pm

      It might be legal to grow but what isnt legal is compacting it as treating it as contraband. genius.

  2. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Monday, March 1, 2021 at 6:40 pm

    The border police will be stoned for three months.

  3. Avatar

    Social Observer

    Tuesday, March 2, 2021 at 1:36 am

    Cannabis is one of the oldest cultivated plants in Asia. The history of cannabis use goes back as far as 12,000 years. “The idea that this is an evil drug is a very recent construction and the fact that it is illegal is a historical anomaly. Marijuana has been legal in many regions of the world for most of its history.” — Live Science

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Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

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