Connect with us


Opinion: Working together to win the war on drugs

Legacy Phuket Gazette



Lt Col Somkid Boonrat, from Songkhla province, is chief of the investigation department at the Phuket Provincial Police Station. After graduating from the Royal Thai Police Cadet Academy, he continued on to earn a bachelor’s degree in law from Ramkhamhaeng University and a master’s degree in business administration from Prince of Songkhla University. Lt Col Somkid has been head of the investigation department since January this year.

Here, he talks about his top priority as a police officer – tackling drugs, their smugglers and their users – and what needs to be done to win the drug battle.

PHUKET: I pay close attention to all crimes that occur in Phuket, as it is my duty as an officer in the investigation department. They are all my responsibility. However, I consider drug crimes my top priority because they are committed so often on the island.

As Phuket is a popular tourist destination, drug issues are hard to tackle. Not only are Thai people involved, but foreigners as well. I think the number of tourists that come here, and their apparent willingness to partake in drugs, increases the amount of drugs smuggled onto the island. Foreigners also pay a higher price for them than locals, which is an incentive for dealers to smuggle in and sell more drugs.

Therefore, we keep a close watch on tourist-attraction locales such as Bangla Road, Patong Beach, Karon Beach and Promthep Cape.

There are two main ways that drugs make it onto the island, by land and by sea. We do not find much through the airport. Even though we strictly control these pathways onto the island, we can’t catch everyone. Criminals will always find a way to commit their crimes.

Drugs are a national problem, not just here in Phuket. Even though I try my best to rid the island of drugs, they are still an issue, as they exist in other provinces as well. What we need to do is find out who is bringing them onto the island, and how, and eliminate them. All provinces must work together on this in order for us to be successful.

We already know who Phuket’s biggest dealers are. However, we cannot reveal their names or locations – this is confidential information. We are in the process of gathering evidence against those in the various drug networks and waiting for an appropriate time to make an arrest. The public will always be notified after this happens.

Prominent drug dealers are not just in Phuket. As mentioned in a recent story about a 17-year-old drug runner who was arrested here, he was not only working for a Phuket dealer, but also for dealers in Phang Nga and Krabi. Hence the need for co-operation between provincial authorities.

Although it is the responsibility of police to track down and arrest people involved in drugs, we are not the only ones who should be fighting against them.

All government and private institutions and citizens should work together to end drug use in Thailand.
Families, friends, schools and communities should help each other. Parents must pay more attention to and discipline their children, and keep an eye on them. Teenagers are especially vulnerable to drug use. If there are problems at home, many young children will turn to drugs.

Police often go out into the communities to educate families about drug use, the negative effects it can have and how to prevent it. We can make arrests all day long, but the problem should be stopped at its roots. This is why we need everyone to work together, especially families and close friends.


Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forums
🔔 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join YouTube for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram


Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Coronavirus (Covid-19)45 mins ago

Sunday Covid Update: 117 deaths and 13,576 new cases

Tourism16 hours ago

Local businesses say they aren’t profiting from Phuket Sandbox

Crime17 hours ago

Woman shot by stray gunfire during motorcycle shooting

Welcome back to Thailand!

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in Thailand - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages!

Phuket18 hours ago

Phuket pair arrested in possession of meth pills, homemade gun

Coronavirus (Covid-19)19 hours ago

Prayut to propose to CCSA to reopen theatres, allow filmmaking

Coronavirus (Covid-19)19 hours ago

Saturday Covid-19 UPDATE: Select provincial totals

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Transport19 hours ago

Woman dresses as astronaut to show moon-like road condition

Coronavirus (Covid-19)21 hours ago

CCSA announces vaccination goals for October; 50% inoculated

Coronavirus (Covid-19)22 hours ago

Phuket Covid-19: 235 daily infections, 238 hospital beds available

Coronavirus (Covid-19)23 hours ago

Saturday Covid Update: 122 Deaths 14,109 new infections

Thailand2 days ago

Oct 1 reopening NOT confirmed, Kpop star sparks frenzy for Thai meatballs |Thailand News Today

Hua Hin2 days ago

Final arguments Tuesday on dual pricing suit against Health Ministry

World2 days ago

Texas lawyer dressed as Halloween’s Michael Myers to spread hurricane cheer

Thailand2 days ago

The Last Dance feat. Mike | Thaiger Bites | September 17

Thailand2 days ago

No “October reopening” plan has been approved – CCSA

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14 | Thaiger
Thailand5 days ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism7 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism7 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism7 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11