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Italian police seize 14 tonnes of amphetamine valued at 1 billion euros

Jack Burton

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Italian police seize 14 tonnes of amphetamine valued at 1 billion euros | The Thaiger
PHOTOS: AFP

“We know that the Islamic State finances its terrorist activities mainly by trafficking drugs made in Syria, which in the past few years has become the world’s largest producer of amphetamines.”

Police in Italy today announced the seizure of 14 tonnes of amphetamines manufactured by the Islamic State in Syria, calling it the “biggest seizure of such drugs in the world.” The drugs, in the form of around 84 million Captagon tablets hidden inside industrial goods within shipping containers, are valued at about a billion euros (34.7 billion baht), and were intended to be sold on the European market “to finance terrorism,” according to a statement from the finance police of Naples.

Police say 3 suspect containers arrived at the port of Salerno, just south of Naples, containing large cylindrical paper rolls for industrial use, as well as industrial machinery. Cutting open the paper rolls and machinery with chainsaws, police found them filled with tablets. Video taken by police showed pills spilling out of the rolls and gearwheels as they were forced open.

Captagon, a brand name, was originally for medical use but illegal versions have been dubbed “the jihad drug” as they are widely used by Islamic State fighters in combat.

“The IS makes extensive use of it in all territories over which it exerts influence and where it controls the drug trade. Once the factories are established, it is easy for IS to produce large quantities also for the world market for synthetic drugs, in order to quickly accumulate substantial funding.”

The amount of drugs seized is sufficient to satisfy the entire European market, police told reporters, without providing a time frame. Naples police say a “consortium” of criminal groups was likely involved in the distribution of the drugs, including possibly many clans within the infamous Camorra criminal gangs of Naples.

“The hypothesis is that during the lockdown, production and distribution of synthetic drugs in Europe practically stopped. Many smugglers, even in consortiums, have turned to Syria where production does not seem to have slowed down.”

Italian police seize 14 tonnes of amphetamine valued at 1 billion euros | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: Barron’s

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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

Pattaya

Pattaya police raid nightclub suspected of presenting pornographic shows

Caitlin Ashworth

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Pattaya police raid nightclub suspected of presenting pornographic shows | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Facebook/นิธิธร จินตกานนท์

Pattaya City Police inspected a nightclub after reports that the venue was hosting pornographic shows on the weekends. Although the nightclub, Dragon Man Club, wasn’t presenting a sexually explicit show when officers came by, the owner was arrested for operating an entertainment business and selling alcohol without the proper permit.

Police say a tip was made through social media from an anonymous source. Officers asked the nightclub owner for the venue’s license, but the owner did not have the document at the time. Police arrested the owner. The nightclub owner was not named in reports.

SOURCE: Pattaya News

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Crime

Bangkok Military Court issues arrest warrant for medic accused of injecting troops with fake Covid-19 vaccine

Caitlin Ashworth

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Bangkok Military Court issues arrest warrant for medic accused of injecting troops with fake Covid-19 vaccine | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Facebook/Royal Thai Army

The Bangkok Military Court has issued an arrest warrant for a Royal Thai Army medic who is accused of injecting troops with a fake Covid-19 vaccine. He reportedly made more than 100,000 baht by charging troops, who were on a United Nations mission, 500 baht each for a tetanus vaccine and a fake Covid-19 vaccine, which an internal army investigation determined was just saline solution.

The Thai Army held a press conference after the medic’s fake vaccine scam made headlines, saying the incident had tarnished the army’s image. The field medic, who was also a lieutenant, injected more than 250 Thai troops stationed in South Sudan on a UN peacekeeping mission with the fake vaccine, claiming it was the head doctor’s order, Army Army spokesperson Santipong Thammapiya confirmed. He says the medic was in the Thai-South Sudan Horizontal Military Engineering Company.

“This incident affects the image of the Thai Armed Forces and Thailand in the United Nations mission. It is a serious disciplinary offence and also violates ethical standards as the wrongdoer is a doctor.”

The medic injected troops with a legitimate vaccine for tetanus as well as a saline solution shot he claimed was a Covid-19 vaccine. He charged 500 baht for the vaccine package, adding up to more than 100,000 baht, according to a UN investigation.

The medic had been sent back to Thailand. The Bangkok Military Court has now issued a warrant for his arrest. Previous reports said the medic’s license was revoked, but a recent report by Nation Thailand says the Medical Council is considering whether to revoke his doctor’s license.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Gunman kills mayoral candidate, injures 4 other municipal candidates at funeral

Caitlin Ashworth

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Gunman kills mayoral candidate, injures 4 other municipal candidates at funeral | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Facebook/ ยงข่าวร้อน

A gunman shot and killed a woman running for mayor and wounded 4 others at a funeral in Ratchaburi, a province west of Bangkok near the Myanmar border. Police say they suspect the shooting was politically motivated. Out of the 4 people injured, 3 were running in the March 28 municipal election while another was the kamnan, a government official of a tambon, which is a sub district.

The gunman is still at large, but police say they suspect the shooter is Wanchart Niamraksa, a member of the Ratchaburi provincial administration organisation.

The gunman opened fire just as the kamnan of tambon Don Sai, Yingpan Kanket, was lighting candles and incense sticks under a Buddha image to start the ceremony, witnesses say. Shots were fired from behind the main Buddha image at the temple’s open prayer hall, witnesses say.

Bullets hit 5 people, including Yingpan who is in critical condition. Varaporn Niamraksa, who was running for mayor of the municipality, was shot and died at the hospital. Nakhon Wanpen, Somthawil Srirat and Monthien Jaitham, who are all running for the municipal council of tambon Don Sai, were shot.

Police found 2 spent .22 cartridges and a 11mm spent shell at the scene. The suspect faces charges of murder, attempted murder, carrying firearms and ammunition without permission and carrying them in public without a proper reason.

SOURCES: Nation Thailand | Bangkok Post

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