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Justice Ministry to go after drug gangs’ assets

Jack Burton

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PHOTO: Police in Chiang Rai inspect drugs seized after a fire fight near the Burmese border - Chiang Rai Times

Justice Minister Somsak Thepsuthin says drug syndicate networks along Thai borders, especially in the North, produce drugs worth about 1.9 billion baht annually. Now his ministry has set up a centre to seize their assets as part of an effort to stamp them out. Somsak says the amount of assets and money seized annually is too low: only about 400-500 million baht a year, compared to the huge amount raked in from drugs sales.

Somsak says the new centre will augment efforts to track down and seize more assets, from both small and major drug traffickers, who have shifted to online platforms to sell drugs. But, he says, authorities are well equipped to track them and seize their money.

On Thursday, a combined force of military rangers and police arrested a Lao smuggler and seized a total of 1,915 meth pills in Nakhon Phanom province in the northeast. Police say the 46 year old woman smuggled the drugs on a boat across the Mekong river, delivering them to the Thai side for drug gangs to distribute.

Soldiers from the Pha Muang Task Force in Chiang Rai province seized 2,252,000 meth pills and 14 kilos of crystal meth after a gunfight with drug runners earlier this month.

Source: Chiang Rai Times

 

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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.

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