Thailand taskforce seizes 130 million illegal pills in six months

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Thailand’s northern border has seen the most significant progress in combating narcotics trafficking, with the Narcotic Drug and Chemical Substance Control Command Unit (Taskforce 35) seizing nearly 130 million illegal pills over the past six months.

In this period, a specialised task force named Taskforce 35 conducted 74 operations targeting narcotic activities, 30 of which escalated to gunfights, according to General Narit Thawonwong, the commander of the unit.

“Suspects were apprehended in 40 cases, with four cases leading to additional investigations and asset seizures. In total, 1,507 individuals were arrested, while 25 others lost their lives during these confrontations, ”

The drug operations resulted in the confiscation of at least 129 million methamphetamine pills, known locally as Yaba, 1,890 kilogrammes of crystal methamphetamine or ya ice, 249 kilogrammes of heroin, and 188 kilogrammes of raw opium.

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These enforcement efforts followed the government’s announcement last December designating 11 northern border districts as drug suppression areas. Specific districts include Fang, Chiang Dao, Chai Prakarn, Mae Ai, and Wiang Haeng in Chiang Mai province, as well as Mae Chan, Mae Fa Luang, Mae Sai, Chiang Khong, Chiang Saen, and Wiang Kaen in Chiang Rai province, Narit elaborated.

Additionally, a 90-day drug suppression campaign was initiated on May 16 in seven more districts: Thoeng in Chiang Rai, Pai and Pang Ma Pha in Mae Hong Son, Phu Sang in Phayao, Chaloem Phrakiat in Nan, and Pob Phra and Mae Sot in Tak province, according to the Director of the Narcotics Control Office Region 5, Apikit Chrojprasert.

In a related incident, the Pha Muang Taskforce engaged in a clash with a drug network in Chiang Mai’s Wiang Haeng district. Fortunately, no injuries were reported.

An official disclosed that the officials seized six backpacks containing a total of 1.2 million pills.

These operations underscore the ongoing efforts and challenges faced by authorities in curbing narcotic trafficking along Thailand’s northern borders, reported Bangkok Post.

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Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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