Drug traffickers attempted to ship about 1.2 billion baht worth of crystal meth out of Thailand and into Australia, but customs officials beat them to the punch, as it were. Authorities at the customs office seized a gigantic payload of more than 193 kilogrammes of crystal meth that was being smuggled out of Thailand stuffed inside punching bags that boxers use for practice.
The shipment was stopped before it was able to make its journey to Australia after customs searched and found the crystal meth hidden inside 15 different punching bags. They became suspicious of the freight, finding it odd that a payload of training equipment manufactured in Thailand would be sent to Australia where there is a very low demand for the product.
Their suspicions were confirmed when the customs officials cut open one of the long cardboard outer boxes before then cutting open the outer layer of the red punching bag in front of multiple cameras the captured the discovery of the crystal meth hidden inside the stuffing of the bag.
The discovery today is one of many large and high-profile busts authorities have been making an effort to crack down on drug manufacturing and trafficking in Thailand, a problem that has boomed during the Covid-19 pandemic. The area where Thailand, Myanmar, and Laos intersect is commonly known as The Golden Triangle and has long been a hub for drug manufacturers and other illicit activities.
In recent years, the United Nations Office on Drugs says that the production of crystal meth has ramped up significantly in the region, flooding Thailand and neighbouring countries with the drug. Thailand is frequently a trafficking route that drug producers use to move their wares to a port where they can be shipped internationally.
The Australian Border Force celebrated the drug seizure, calling the disruption of the illegal supply chain fantastic news, and noting that a strong market exists for crystal meth in Australia, as they consume around 11 tonnes of methamphetamines per year in the country.
SOURCE: Bangkok Post