PM Srettha orders ‘X-ray’ ops to sniff out drug abusers

Photo courtesy of The Nation

To combat the narcotics epidemic, Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin launched an aggressive nationwide crackdown on drug abuse and trafficking. Dubbed the “X-ray” operations, this initiative aims to root out drug abusers and dismantle trafficking networks across the country.

Government spokesperson Chai Wacharonke declared that drug abusers will be sent to rehab centres, while traffickers will be arrested and face justice. Leading the charge, provincial governors will spearhead the operations, targeting high-risk individuals aged 16 and above for mandatory urine tests.

This coordinated effort brings together the Office of the Narcotics Control Board (ONCB), local police stations, civil society, and community leaders. The ultimate goal, according to the prime minister, is twofold: rehabilitate drug users and bring traffickers to justice.

“We must identify users and ensure they receive the help they need, while those who peddle drugs must face the full force of the law.”

To support this initiative, the public health, interior, and defence ministries are tasked with building new rehabilitation facilities. Simultaneously, the labour and social development and human security ministries will provide career training to rehabilitated individuals, facilitating their reintegration into society.

Moreover, the Education and Higher Education Ministry, Science Ministry, Research Ministry, and Innovation Ministry will monitor students to shield them from the lure of narcotics, aiming to stem the tide of new drug users.

The crackdown’s impact is already evident. From October last year to yesterday, July 2, police have apprehended 184,411 suspects in 177,121 drug-related cases. Seizures include a staggering 764 million amphetamine tablets, 1.27 tonnes of heroin, 4.17 tonnes of ketamine, 30 kilogrammes of cocaine, and 127,190 MDMA tablets.

In addition, assets worth 6.34 billion baht have been confiscated, and 108,304 individuals have been sent for rehabilitation, reported The Nation.

In related news, Public Health Minister Somsak Thepsutin endorsed initiatives to allocate seized assets from narcotic drug cases towards funding the rehabilitation of drug addicts. Somsak revealed that during his tenure as the Justice Ministry chair, he had amended several narcotic laws, particularly those concerning asset seizures.

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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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