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Positive test for ketamine was a “technical error”

The Thaiger

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Positive test for ketamine was a “technical error” | The Thaiger
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A “technical error” in field testing had led to the false claim that 11.5 tonnes of ketamine had been seized at a warehouse in Chachoesngsao province. Justice Minister Somsak Thepsuthin, made the admission at a media briefing called to clear up the matter.

The 475 sacks containing were seized by ONCB officials during a raid on a warehouse at tambon Tha Kham in Bang Pakong district, in Chachoengsao province, on November 12 which prompted authorities to tout the discovery as the biggest drug bust ever. But officials jumped the gun as the testing fluid that turned purple, indicating ketamine was found, was wrong after 66 sacks were further tested.

The further testing revealed the sacks were filled with trisodium phosphate, a compound used legally as a food additive and stain remover. Somsak said a “technical error in the field” led to the assumption it was ketamine as trisodium phosphate would also turn the testing fluid purple. The large TSP labels on the sacks could have been a valuable clue as Thai police paraded proudly in front of the contraband.

“No matter, we have admitted the mistake, and it may not be corrected in the short term.”

Asked if the blunder could affect the credibility of the Justice Ministry and the ONCB, Somsak said he accepted all criticicism and to make the matter clear, he would ask the police Forensic Science Division, the Department of Medical Science and the ONCB to make lab tests with results being known this week.

“I accept the fact it might have been premature to hold a press conference to announce the seizure of a substance suspected to be a kind of drug. But in this case, the ONCB had been informed of the seizure of ketamine in Taiwan, investigated and found an undeniable link to it. It would have been a mistake if I did not make it public.”

“The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime said this also happened two or three times in other countries. This was the first time in Thailand. Moreover, on the day I held the press conference, I did not say it was 100% ketamine.”

Authorities are saying they would find out where the substance in the warehouse came from, and for what purpose as they believed it could be used to conceal illicit drugs, including ketamine. The ONCB chief said the man who rented the warehouse to store the sacks had fled before the raid and avoided arrest. However, they are currently compiling a case to apply for a court warrant for his arrest in connection with the seizure of ketamine in Taiwan.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Bangkok

Police arrest “prime suspect” in narcotics case linked to 10 deaths in Bangkok

Caitlin Ashworth

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Police arrest “prime suspect” in narcotics case linked to 10 deaths in Bangkok | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Prachachat

Police arrested a man suspected of producing the ketamine-based illicit drug cocktail linked to at least 10 deaths in Bangkok. The man is also charged with attempted murder for allegedly shooting his girlfriend at a Bangkok apartment.

Police say 33 year old Amornthep Chalermwat, known as Un Kiwi, fled Bangkok and was arrested in Phetchabun’s Bung Sam Phan district yesterday. Police say Amornthep admitted to distributing the “K powdered milk” drug cocktail, but denies producing it.

Police say the narcotic cocktail contains ketamine, methamphetamine, heroin and the sedative diazepam. The mix of drugs is suspected to have caused 10 deaths in Bangkok. Others have been hospitalised after taking the drugs and losing consciousness.

On January 9, Thachchai Klomjai fell unconscious and his boyfriend died after taking “K powdered milk.” When Thachchai regained consciousness, he told police he bought the drugs from Amornthep and another suspect, Kulnathee Iemloy, who Amornthep also named and has been arrested. Bangkok police reported 6 other deaths that weekend from “K powdered milk.”

The next day, Amornthep allegedly shot his girlfriend, Apisa Hongkhan, at an apartment in the Chatuchak area. Police say the woman was severely wounded. They suspect Amornthep shot is girlfriend out of suspicion that she had stolen the drug cocktail and sold it.

Some small-scale dealers have been arrested over the past week, but police say they believe Amornthep is a prime suspect.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Thailand

Central Thailand hospital adding marijuana to spa restaurant menu

The Thaiger

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Central Thailand hospital adding marijuana to spa restaurant menu | The Thaiger

A little sprinkle here and a little sprinkle there. A central Thailand hospital is now adding marijuana to its spa restaurant menu. The Chaophraya Abhaibhubejhr Hospital, in Prachin Buri, is serving patients dishes and drinks prepared with marijuana leaves at its Abhaibhubejhr Day Spa.

Asala Chaocharoen, one of the hospital’s pharmacists, says they have developed the menu item using 1 to 2 leaves from marijuana in a dish. Such dishes are putting customers in “a relaxing and good mood”, along with helping them sleep and eat better. But she is warning those who over-medicate as she says 5 to 8 leaves a day should be the maximum to consume as it can cause drowsiness.

The marijuana dishes were rolled out on January 6 and included spicy soup, fried fish and fried bread with a minced pork spread. To wash it all down, customers could drink marijuana soda. The legality of the additives may indeed attract the attention of authorities in coming days.

Elsewhere in Thailand, Maejo University is gearing up to join the world market for marijuana by testing different strains and levels of THC and CBD, the psychoactive and medicinal elements in marijuana. It recently witnessed the handing over of 400 kilograms of the plant to Khon Kaen University’s pharmaceutical facility to be processed and developed into medicine under a project that started in 2019.

The value of the 400 tonne of marijuana is 16 million baht, or 40,000 baht per kilogram. A Maejo University spokesperson says that Thai marijuana used to be among the best in the world, but as other countries legalised the plant, Thailand needs to catch up to the market.

The university is also developing many strains of marijuana that feature a lower amount of THC as well as hemp with the hope of being able to develop more medical products in the future. As of now, rules and regulations are still being finalised, but those in the public who want to join the industry won’t have to wait much longer.

SOURCE: Chiang Rai Times

NOTE: The Thaiger does not condone or encourage the intake or smoking of marijuana under any circumstances, except under medical supervision.

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Drugs

Thai laws, how to stay out of jail in Thailand | VIDEO

The Thaiger

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Thai laws, how to stay out of jail in Thailand | VIDEO | The Thaiger

Thailand has plenty of laws, some of them applied more vigorously than others. Some not at all. But the ones they do apply can get you in hot water or, at worst, in a Thai jail. You DON’T want to end up there. Here’s a few of the better and lesser known Thai laws from The Thaiger. You can visit all our videos, and subscribe to our channel HERE.

https://www.youtube.com/c/TheThaiger/videos

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