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Thailand’s methamphetamine trafficking increases after Myanmar coup

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Thailand’s methamphetamine trafficking increases after Myanmar coup | Thaiger

Thailand’s methamphetamine supply is facing a sharp rise out of Myanmar following the recent coup, opening the floodgates to an abundance of “yaba” pills. The Thai narcotics bureau seized over 80 million pills in the past 6 months alone, including a 20 million baht seizure recently, in part due to over-supply from the Covid-19 pandemic. But much more yaba is expected to be flooding across the border as the crisis in Myanmar continues, with strikes and unrest against the military rule raging on.

Organised crime and militias have been emboldened in the face of the national chaos, leading to drug production increasing. Many Burmese groups along the Laos and Thai border, the central hub of drug trade for decades (golden triangle), are already primarily funded by synthetic drug sales. Jeremy Douglas of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime says this is the case historically.

“If past actions are any indicator of what’s coming, then we’re likely to see another increase in synthetic drug production.”

The influx of meth into Thailand has created a surplus of pills in Bangkok, bottoming out the market price. With exports to more profitable countries like Australia and Japan complicated by Covid-19 border tightenings, Yaba is now selling for 50 baht a pop.

Thai authorities estimate three-quarters of illegal drugs are now shipped from Myanmar to Thailand via Laos. More manpower and equipment, such as night-vision, motion sensors and motorbikes, are desperately needed, they say. Recently volunteer groups living in villages along the river have done 24 hour border patrols, which has been helpful in spotting drug runners disguised as fishermen. The traffickers will also avoid areas with a lot of real fishing boats out.

These local volunteer groups fill gaps in police shift changes, and their local knowledge often comes in handy. They don’t make arrests or carry weapons, but they inform police of the movements of traffickers and hiding places amongst the grass and trees along the riverbank. They know of storage spaces holding a tonne of meth pills.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Avatar

    dispensed

    Saturday, March 27, 2021 at 5:01 pm

    After 70 years, prohibition is due to start working any day now! Or you could let people choose what they put in their body, and they’ll naturally choose less harmful, more natural substances like marijuana.

  2. Avatar

    Dreqo

    Saturday, March 27, 2021 at 7:03 pm

    It’s going to get a bit wild for the next couple yrs and you wont be able to ignore it. Brace yourselves.

  3. Avatar

    Roger Bruce

    Saturday, March 27, 2021 at 8:48 pm

    ??????????????????????? What can one say is this the end of Thailand tourism? This drug trade is now the world news… Most will stay clear of Thailand and its neighbors for many years to come
    With drugs are violence and crime and corruption

    Good Luck Thailand

  4. Avatar

    Das

    Saturday, March 27, 2021 at 11:44 pm

    How else is the Myanmar junta supposed to acquire finances when its international assets are being frozen?

  5. Avatar

    ynwaps

    Sunday, March 28, 2021 at 1:13 pm

    Soldiers start patroling borders 24 hours and the yaba supply increases.
    At least the covid numbers go down 🤔

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Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10 years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

Crime

Police arrest 2 Lao men, seize 550 kilograms of methamphetamine at Mekong River bank

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Police arrest 2 Lao men, seize 550 kilograms of methamphetamine at Mekong River bank | Thaiger
Photo via Facebook/บางแสนโพสต์ทีวี

In another drug bust by the Mekong River, police seized 550 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine valued at around 275 million baht. Methamphetamine trafficking across the river from Laos to Thailand has spiked since the Myanmar coup. Many militant groups in Myanmar border towns rely on synthetic drug production as a main source of income. With tightened patrol along the Thai-Myanmar border, many are cutting through Laos and across the Mekong River to smuggle the drugs into Thailand.

Officers arrested 2 young Lao men at the riverbank in Nakhon Phanom’s That Phanom distict as they were loading sacks of methamphetamine onto a pickup truck. Police say they suspect 21 year old Phaeng Duangmalai and 20 year old Noo Kaewmanee also delivered a shipment of drugs on Wednesday night. The 2 men allegedly told police that they were paid 5,000 baht each to deliver the methamphetamine.

Earlier this week, drug suppression police arrested a 27 year old man in Sakhon Nakhon’s Bang Muang district and seized 30,115 methamphetamine pills. Police investigated and tracked down another drug suspect the next day, arresting a 46 year old Charoon Suriyaphum and seizing 3 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine from his pickup truck.

Charoon allegedly told police that he had been hired by Laos national to transport the methamphetamine and was paid around 50,000 to 100,000 baht per delivery. Police say he had already picked up 450 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine from the riverbank in Nakhon Pathom and was planning to pick up another 550 kilograms from the Phaeng and Noo the next night.

สกลนคร ตำรวจจับบิ๊กล็อตยาไอซ์ 550 กก.มูลค่าเกือบ 300 ล้าน

ผวจ.สกลนคร ร่วมทหาร…

Posted by บางแสนโพสต์ทีวี on Thursday, April 1, 2021

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Thailand

Drug trafficking in Thailand spikes following Myanmar coup, volunteers keep close eye on border

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Drug trafficking in Thailand spikes following Myanmar coup, volunteers keep close eye on border | Thaiger
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Thailand has faced a spike in methamphetamine trafficking across the Mekong River following the military coup in neighbouring Myanmar. Local volunteers along the river are now helping out to identify potential drug smugglers disguised as fishermen.

The volunteers tip off police when they see suspicious activity since they can’t make arrests and confronting a drug trafficker could be dangerous.

One volunteer says he tipped off police about suspected drug traffickers carrying packages from their boats and hidding the drugs in the grass along the riverbank. He says the suspects were later arrested with 5 million methamphetamine pills known as “yaba,” meaning “crazy drug.”

The Golden Triangle, where Laos, Thailand and Myanmar meet, has been notorious for drug smuggling for decades. For many insurgent and militant groups in Myanmar border towns near Thailand and Laos, synthetic drug production is a main source of revenue.

Crime syndicates in Myanmar are likely using the military takeover to their advantage to strengthen their positions and increase synthetic drug production, according to Jeremy Douglas from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. He says “the pieces are in place to scale up” the drug trade.

Even though border patrol has tightened along the Thai-Myanmar border, drug traffickers are using a route through Laos, crossing the Mekong River to smuggle the drugs to Thailand. With the uptick in supply, the price of methamphetamine has dropped to a low of 50 baht (around $1.60 USD).

SOURCE: AFP

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Drugs

Suspected drug dealer nabbed with 2,000 methamphetamine pills after motorbike crash

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Suspected drug dealer nabbed with 2,000 methamphetamine pills after motorbike crash | Thaiger
Stock photo by Labib Ittihadul for flickr

A suspected drug dealer was arrested after he crashed his motorbike while attempting to flee from police in Chon Buri. Police later seized 500 grams of crystal meth along with 2,000 methamphetamine pills from the man’s home. The suspected drug dealer, Sonthaya “Boy” Suwan, was injured in the accident, but reports do not go into detail about his condition.

After arresting Boy, police searched his home in the Samet area of the Mueang district and found the methamphetamine. Boy will likely face charges of illegal possession of Category 1 drugs with the intent to sell.

Police say Boy confessed to trafficking narcotics. Boy allegedly told police that he was a delivery man, or “drug mule,” and was paid 1,000 baht to 10,000 baht per delivery. He says he never knew who exactly he worked for, or how to directly contact his superiors in the drug trade.

The bust came just a few days after a roadblock set up to find drugs ended in a shootout in Chon Buri between police and a man carrying 30 meth pills.

SOURCE: Pattaya News

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