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Justice Minister says Thailand is a major transit point in the illicit drug trade

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Thailand is a major transit point in the transnational illicit drug trade, particularly crystal methamphetamine and heroin, with many routes destined for various countries, according to Justice Minister Somsak Thepsuthin.

Due to the strict penalties for illegal drug production, Thailand is rarely used as a base to produce methamphetamine and heroin, the minister says. Most of the drugs are produced in Myanmar near the Golden Triangle, an area notorious for transnational drug trade where Thailand, Myanmar and Laos meet.

The drugs trafficked through Thailand end up in various countries around the world including China, Macau, Taiwan, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Singapore, Israel, New Zealand, Australia, Norway, Russia, the UK and the US.

Recent busts in Australia and South Korea involving drugs trafficked from Thailand prompted the Justice Ministry to announce that it is now working with foreign agencies to investigate transnational drug trafficking operations with routes in Thailand.

In Australia last month, more than 300 kilograms of methamphetamine valued at 2.29 billion baht was seized from a Thai cargo ship at a port in Sydney. Australian Border Force searched the shipment and found the methamphetamine hidden inside electronic water heaters and barbecue grills.

In another recent bust, a Thai man was arrested in South Korea after authorities at Seoul’s Incheon Airport found more than 4 kilograms of methamphetamine hidden in protein supplements smuggled on a flight from Thailand.

SOURCE: National News Bureau of Thailand

 

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Local Thai journalist speaking fluent Thai and English. Tanutam studied in Khon Kaen before attending Bangkok’s Chulalongkhorn University.

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