Just in the past 2 months, authorities have arrested hundreds of drug smuggling suspects and seized drugs valued at millions of baht, plus related assets. A total of 43 drug smuggling rings were busted. But apparently catching the criminals wasn’t easy as many of them traded items instead of cash for the drugs, making it hard to nail down evidence.
Instead of cash, many used items like gold bars, fuel, zinc and steel rods for drug transactions as a loophole, making it more difficult for authorities prove drugs were sold. Justice Minister Somsak Thepusthin said the money-laundering laws could be amended to make it easier to gather evidence of drug dealings using items instead of cash.
Thepusthin announced the numbers yesterday. Along with 450 million baht worth of drugs and drug-related assets seized by drug suppression agencies, a total of 1,346 people were arrested. Thepusthin said that from May to June, police seized nearly 26 million methamphetamine pills, 321 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine (ice), 3.5 kilograms of heroin, 420 kilograms of marijuana and 1 kilogram of ketamine. The drug suspects’ bank accounts were also seized, adding up to 12 billion baht in circulation.
SOURCE: Bangkok Post
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