Connect with us


Phuket drug detectors under fire

Legacy Phuket Gazette



PHUKET: The Science and Technology Ministry is set to test the effectiveness of the Alpha 6 ‘molecular resonance’ substance detector in use by anti-drug agencies in Phuket.

The move comes after tests on the similar GT200 bomb-detection device revealed it was ineffective.

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said double-blind tests carried out by the Science and Technology Ministry showed the GT200 succeeded in detecting explosives in only four out of 20 tries.

“The result has no statistical significance. The performance is equivalent to random chance,” he told reporters last week.

PM Abhisit has ordered a review of the use of all ‘molecular resonance’ bomb and drug detectors following the test results.

“Scientifically speaking, dogs have already been proven to be more efficient than the bomb detectors,” he said.

Any agencies willing to continue using such detectors would do so ‘at their own peril’, he added.

Critics of such devices claim they are little more than dowsing rods.

Makers claim the devices are powered by static electricity from their user and can detect specific contraband substances from up to 300 meters away.

Thailand has spent between 700 and 800 million baht to acquire some 1,000 dowsing devices in recent years, Mr Abhisit said.

All agencies using such gear must report to him how many devices they have, how they use them and how much they spent for the discredited technology, he said.

The science ministry will test the Alpha 6, which sells for around 400,000 baht, with the same techniques used to examine the GT200.

Of the eight devices in use in Phuket, the Interior Ministry bought six and Phuket Provincial Office two. They are used by drug suppression units at a number of police stations on the island including Tah Chat Chai, Phuket City, Kathu and Thalang as well as by the Phuket Provincial Police.

Former Phuket Governor Preecha Ruangjan instigated purchase of the island’s first two devices in early 2009.

All eight devices have been in use for around two months, following a launch ceremony in late December 2009.

Police at Tah Chat Chai Checkpoint are using their Alpha 6 in an effort to detect drugs coming onto the island.

“Though I have never heard a report of officers finding drugs with this device, it is still in use at the checkpoint,” Tah Chat Chai Police Superintendent Sakchai Limcharoen said.

Wirote Suwanwong, who heads the provincial drug suppression unit, said his men have been using two of the devices and insisted they were effective.

The devices had been used in the recent seizure of 2,080 ya bah pills, Mr Wirote said, though he admitted the drugs were found in a small room.

“If they didn’t work I would have reported that fact to Phuket Governor Wichai Phraisa-ngop,” he said.

— Pimwara Choksakulpan


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:

Thailand6 hours ago

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

Hua Hin8 hours ago

Final arguments Tuesday on dual pricing suit against Health Ministry

World8 hours ago

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

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!

Thailand9 hours ago

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

Thailand9 hours ago

No “October reopening” plan has been approved – CCSA

Thailand9 hours ago

Public Health Ministry defends October 1 reopening

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Coronavirus (Covid-19)9 hours ago

Friday Covid Update: 14,555 new cases; provincial totals

Crime10 hours ago

Torture and forced disappearances bills pass House vote 368-0

Bangkok10 hours ago

Bangkok Governor: NO reopening October 15 despite PM plans

Pattaya11 hours ago

Thai-Russian 4 year old girl drowns in Pattaya home pool

Phuket12 hours ago

New centre proposed to provide ATKs cheap at Phuket entrance

Thailand12 hours ago

Morning Top Stories | Covid Free setting, Pattaya bars might not open | September 17 |

Thailand12 hours ago

Thailand Daily Covid Update | Thursday, September 17 |

World12 hours ago

Foreign Minister Don to US for meetings with UN, ASEAN, more

Thailand13 hours ago

The Future of Medical Tourism in Thailand | Good Morning Thailand LIVE | Episode 91

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14 | Thaiger
Thailand3 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