The Customs Department of Thailand last month seized 26,000 kilogrammes of opium seeds imported from Turkey at Laem Chabang Port in Chon Buri. The seeds were worth about 30 million baht.
The Thai Customs and other related departments revealed the details of the seizure at the customs office on February 12 during a press conference on Wednesday. Director-General of Thai Customs Phachara Anantasin explained that the department detected suspicious containers at Laem Chabang Port that had been declared to be full of white sesame seeds.
Officers found that the seeds looked similar to sesame seeds while investigating the containers. However, to ensure accuracy, samples were taken and sent for further testing to the Narcotics Analysis and Technical Service Institution.
The results revealed that the seeds contained codeine and morphine, which are compounds found in poppy seeds or papaverceae, which are considered drugs.
The suspects involved were not revealed in the press conference. Phachara stated that the suspects would face three charges including:
- Section 35(4) of the Narcotics Act: whoever manufactures, imports, exports, sells or possesses narcotics of category 5 shall be punished with imprisonment of put five years and a fine of 500,000 baht
- Sections 93 and 148 of the Narcotics Act: whoever imports or exports narcotics of category 5 shall be punished with imprisonment of up to two years, a fine of up to 40,000 baht, or both
- Section 202, 244, and 252 of the Customs Act: whoever submits, arranges, or allows others to submit a false or incomplete good declaration shall be fined up to 500,000 baht.
During the press conference, Thai Customs also reported statistics of drug arrests made across the country from October 1 last year to February 28. Officers arrested 71 drug smugglers and made drug seizures worth 726 million baht.
Last week, the Thai Customs and police officers arrested a wanted Thai drug dealer named Jimin Cheong, also known as Sarahat Sawangjaeng, who had undergone plastic surgery to look like a Korean man to escape the police. The arrest was made after the seizure of 2,575 grams of MDMA and 290 ecstasy pills on November 11 last year.
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