DrugsThailand

Drug policy outlines by PM, cash rewards to police in busts

PHOTO: PM Prayut Chan-o-cha announced the new anti-drug plans. (via NNT)

The Thai government held an event outlining its plan for stopping the spread of narcotics while simultaneously presenting police with the same sort of reward kickbacks that allowed disgraced police officer Joe Ferrari to amass extreme wealth on a small salary. PM Prayut Chan-o-cha released Thailand’s new urgent narcotics action plan in a special event to discuss drugs in the kingdom.

The event brought together relevant anti-drug agencies and groups within Thailand like the Foreign Anti-Narcotics and Crime Community of Thailand as well as international groups like the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

While unveiling the new narcotics plan, PM Prayut also presided over a ceremony to pay officials involved in four large drug busts a reward of 8 million baht. That huge figure is the equivalent of a 30% cut of the total value of the drugs seized. One has to wonder where that cash reward comes from if the drugs have been taken off the street and presumably destroyed or at least not sold.

Meanwhile, PM Prayut discussed the complexity of drug prevention in the kingdom, calling on neighbouring countries to band together in the fight. He said it requires suppression and prevention of drugs, but also rehabilitation for drug users.

He commented that revised drug laws have led to the seizure of 11.1 billion baht of drugs already. Increased efficiency in suppression and an increase in sellers and drug traffickers being arrested have made Thailand a safer place. The 68 year old PM observed that drugs crossing the borders can be a matter of national security too.

In a bid to curb corruption, the prime minister said that informants must be well-protected while agencies must not protect employees who commit drug offences according to the National News Bureau of Thailand.

Hi called for families to support anti-drug efforts and for educational institutions to strive to be drug-free. Aside from federal policy, he called on communities to be monitored on a sub-district local level to curb drug use and offer rehabilitation for users. At the same time, security forces will ramp up efforts along the borders to stop traffickers from coming in and seize illegal drugs from traffickers who do make it into the country.

Neill Fronde

Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.