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Huge narcotics haul seized from four major drug operations

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Huge narcotics haul seized from four major drug operations | The Thaiger

Police said four successful recent drug busts had led to the confiscation of a huge haul of narcotics, including more than 1,000 kilograms of marijuana, three kilograms of highly concentrated hashish oil, over 100,000 methamphetamine pills, some 5,300 grams of crystal methamphetamine and 850 grams of ketamine.

Deputy police chief Pol General Chalermkiat Srivorakhan and Narcotics Suppression Bureau (NSB) head Lt-General Sommai Kongvisaisuk announced the four cases at a press conference yesterday at the NSB head office in Bangkok…

Some 490 kilograms of dried marijuana with a street value of 15 million baht were seized in Bung Kan province on Saturday, but the four suspected Laotian smugglers managed to flee.

Four Nakhon Phanom men aged 27-53 were arrested with 598 kilograms of dried marijuana and three kilograms of highly concentrated hashish oil at a gas station in Udon Thani province on Saturday as well.

The hashish oil is worth 500,000 baht per kilogram, as it is the most potent form of marijuana – one kilogram is extracted from 100 kilograms of fresh marijuana.

The hash oil was believed to bound for the South before being smuggled to Europe and the US, according to Sommai.

The Udon Thani bust stemmed from a previous operation in March that seized 1,380 kilograms of marijuana in Nong Khai province, he added.

A Bangkok resident, 24 year old Pornchai Buayaem, was arrested with 106,000 meth pills, 200 grams of “ice” and 850 grams of ketamine in Taling Chan district last Friday.

A tip-off suggested that Pornchai was transporting the drugs after collecting the large batch on the orders of a drug ring, to store at his relative’s house. Pornchai allegedly confessed to have transported drugs three times before and claimed to have been paid 50,000 baht on each occasion.

Two male suspects were arrested with 5,196 gram of “ice” in a police sting operation on Thursday. The first suspect was apprehended when delivering the drugs at a shopping mall’s parking lot in Samut Prakan province and his accomplice was subsequently nabbed at a mall in Pathum Thani province.

Huge narcotics haul seized from four major drug operations | News by The Thaiger Huge narcotics haul seized from four major drug operations | News by The Thaiger

STORY: The Nation

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Cannabis could generate 8 billion baht for Thai pharmaceutical industry by 2025, expert says

Caitlin Ashworth

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Cannabis could generate 8 billion baht for Thai pharmaceutical industry by 2025, expert says | The Thaiger

Cannabis could become a major cash crop in Thailand. An expert says the cannabis-based medicinal products could generate up to 8 billion baht for the Thai pharmaceutical industry by 2025. Medical cannabis has been legal in Thailand for the past couple years, but recently the government agreed to allow parts of the plant with very, low traces of the “high-inducing” component tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, to be in medicinal products and food.

Cannabis-based medicines have been used as palliative treatment for some cancer patients in Thailand. Last year, nearly 1 million patients used cannabis-based medicines, according to an economist at Kasetsart University’s Agricultural and Resource Economics Department, Ravissa Suchato.

Around 1.2 billion baht worth of medical cannabis was consumed last year, according to Ravissa, who led a recent study on the economic impact of commercial cannabis cultivation in Thailand. If the average consumption rises as expected, medical cannabis could generate 8 billion baht within the next 5 years.

“We believe marijuana has great potential as a cash crop because more patients will start using marijuana-based drugs soon.”

In the past, Thai officials have discussed the opportunity to tap into the global cannabis market by exporting medical cannabis, but Ravissa says Thailand still has a way to go.

“Globally, the recreational use of marijuana has risen a lot faster than pharmaceutical use, so the prospect of exporting marijuana-based medicines from Thailand is still a long way off.”

Parts of the cannabis plant that are rich in THC, like the buds, are still illegal and classified as a Category 5 narcotic. Trafficking the plant is still heavily criminalised. Just over the past few days, border patrol police in the Northeastern province Nakhon Pathom seized hundreds of kilograms of dried, compressed cannabis believed to have been trafficked across the Mekong River from Laos and destined for the South, possibly to Malaysia.

SOURCE: Thai PBS

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Crime

Another drug bust near the Mekong River, 500 kilograms of cannabis seized

Caitlin Ashworth

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Another drug bust near the Mekong River, 500 kilograms of cannabis seized | The Thaiger
PHOTO: MGR Online

In another drug bust in Northeastern province Nakhon Phanom, police arrested a man and seized 500 kilograms of compressed cannabis. Just yesterday, border patrol police in the province seized 920 kilograms of compressed cannabis from a boat on the Mekong River. In both cases, police suspect the cannabis came from Laos, just across the river.

Police say they searched a black Nissan Navara pickup around 1am in the province’s Na Kae district. Police opened the truck’s bed cover and found 12 sacks with 500 packages of dried, compacted cannabis. Each package of cannabis weighed 1 kilogram, similar to the previous bust on the river.

28 year old Saravut Butngam was arrested. Saravut previously worked in construction, but has recently been unemployed. He allegedly told police that a man called him with an opportunity to make 50,000 baht. He was told to drive the pickup truck from a petrol station in the Na Kae district to a specified location in the neighbouring province Sakon Nakhon, police say. From there, another driver would take over.

Border police commander Sippanan Sornkhunkaew says he suspects the cannabis seized in the province was trafficked from Laos across the Mekong River. He says he believes the cannabis was planned to be trafficked to Southern Thailand and then smuggled across the border, possibly to Malaysia.

On Sunday morning, police confiscated 920 kilograms of cannabis from a boat on the Mekong River. When police approached the boat, men jumped off onto a smaller boat and fled the scene. The dried, compacted cannabis was wrapped in 1 kilogram packages.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Drugs

Police seize 920 kilograms of cannabis smuggled across the Mekong River

Caitlin Ashworth

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Police seize 920 kilograms of cannabis smuggled across the Mekong River | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thairath

In a major bust on the Mekong River, notorious for drug smuggling, border patrol police seized 920 kilograms of dried, compacted cannabis from a boat along the Nakhon Pathom riverbank, bordering Laos.

Police were tipped off about a large shipment of drugs being trafficked across the Thai-Laos border. Police spotted a boat around 4am yesterday. When police moved in, men onboard the boat jumped onto a smaller boat and sped off. Police found 23 sacks filled with 1-kilogram packages of compressed cannabis.

Police seize 920 kilograms of cannabis smuggled across the Mekong River | News by The Thaiger

PHOTO: MGR Online

In the recent months, police have seized more than 5 tonnes of cannabis. While the Thai government has been loosening measures on cannabis, allowing parts of the plant with low traces of the psychoactive component tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, to be used in food and medicinal products, trafficking cannabis is still illegal. Cannabis with high amounts of THC is still classified as a Category 5 narcotic.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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