Following busts in Australia and South Korea involving large shipments of methamphetamine from Thailand, the Justice Ministry is working with foreign agencies to investigate transnational drug trafficking with routes in Thailand, Minister Somsak Thepsuthin announced.
Last month, more than 300 kilograms of methamphetamine valued at 2.29 billion baht was seized from a Thai cargo ship at a port in Sydney. Australian Border Force searched the shipment and found the methamphetamine hidden inside electronic water heaters and barbecue grills.
“Australian police submitted information on 316 kilograms of crystal meth found on a cargo ship from Thailand on May 8 in Sydney, which enabled us to track down the suspects behind the smuggling operation… We now know that the drugs were sent from Mukdahan to the South of Thailand before being shipped overseas in electrical appliance boxes.”
Recently, in South Korea, a Thai man was arrested on drug charges after authorities at Seoul’s Incheon Airport found more than 4 kilograms of methamphetamine hidden in protein supplements smuggled on a flight from Thailand. Somsak says the drugs were destined for illegal Thai migrants known as “phi noi,” meaning “little ghosts,” a name referring to Thais who work undocumented in a foreign country.
Somsak says investigators have found that many buyers of the illicit drugs are paying using cryptocurrency like Bitcoin and ordering drugs through mobile applications, online delivery and private delivery companies, methods that make it more difficult for police to track.
“This prompted the ministry to work closely with foreign agencies to stay ahead of the drug dealers.”
The Golden Triangle, where Thailand, Myanmar and Laos meet, has been a notorious spot for drug trafficking as well as the production of methamphetamine and opium. Somsak says it makes Thailand a prime target for drug syndicates. Methamphetamine and heroin busts have increased over the past few years.
“Since 2019, we have seized an increasing amount of drugs in Thailand – significantly higher than the amount that slipped through and reached destination countries such as Australia, Japan, Taiwan and Hong Kong.”
SOURCE: Nation Thailand
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