Ceramic doll statues conceal 20 million baht heroin haul in Thailand

Photo courtesy of Pattaya News

Mueang Nong Khai police uncover a stash of heroin bars worth over 20 million baht hidden within innocuous Chinese ceramic doll statues.

At a press conference held on Monday, February 12, authorities revealed the seizure made at the First Thai–Lao Friendship Bridge, Nong Khai.

According to police reports, the alarming find unfolded when two Lao nationals arrived at the checkpoint in a six-wheel truck around 10.45am. Thai customs officers, suspicious of the contents inside boxes labelled as doll statues, initiated a thorough search.

Upon closer inspection using X-ray technology, officials were astounded to find more than 20 heroin bars cleverly concealed within the seemingly harmless figurines. The total weight of the illicit substance amounted to 7.6 kilogrammes, with an estimated value exceeding 20 million baht, reported Pattaya News.

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The Lao suspects, allegedly unaware of the contraband stashed within the statues, claimed innocence and insisted they were merely delivering parcels for a nominal fee of 500 baht. Their intended destination, a company in Bang Na, Bangkok, raised further suspicions amongst authorities.

In related news, following a two-month-long surveillance operation, the Narcotics Suppression Bureau of Bangkok’s Division 6 successfully dismantled three drug trafficking networks, seizing 10 million methamphetamine pills and 60 kilogrammes of crystal meth. The haul, intended for distribution in local communities, was intercepted at 1pm last Thursday, February 8, at the headquarters of the Metropolitan Police Bureau Division 6.

In other news, Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin affirmed on Monday that the government is open to reevaluating a recently announced policy which reduces penalties for individuals found with five or fewer methamphetamine pills. This statement follows the public disapproval that has arisen in response to the law, signed by Public Health Minister Cholnan Srikaew last Friday, February 9, which determines that anyone found with five or fewer methamphetamine tablets will be considered a user rather than a dealer.

The new possession limit has been met with significant criticism on social media, as many have argued that the quantity is excessive considering the country’s ongoing struggle with drug abuse.

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Puntid Tantivangphaisal

Originally from Hong Kong, Puntid moved to Bangkok in 2020 to pursue further studies in translation. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Hong Kong. Puntid spent 8 years living in Manchester, UK. Before joining The Thaiger, Puntid has been a freelance translator for 2 years. In her free time, she enjoys swimming and listening to music, as well as writing short fiction and poetry.

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