Connect with us

Phuket

Phuket meth dealers launch ‘white skin’ campaign

Published

 on 

PHUKET: Police are concerned about a rise in the use of ya ice (crystal methamphetamine) in Phuket and nearby provinces, and say drug dealers are falsely touting the powerful stimulant as a skin whitening agent to lure in new users.

Pramote Phumprakun, superintendent of Narcotics Suppression Bureau Division (NSBD) precinct responsible for the Upper South, described the ya ice problem as “epidemic and continuing to grow” despite the best efforts of law enforcement officials.

The NSDB Upper South region comprises eight provinces: Chumphon, Surat Thani, Nakhon Sri Thammarat, Ranong, Phang Nga, Krabi and Phuket.

“Even though we monitor all trafficking activities as closely as possible, it seems like their networks are becoming more complicated and difficult to trace,” said Pol Col Pramote.

Ya ice and ya bah (methamphetamine in pill form) continue to be the illegal narcotics in highest demand in the region, he said.

The proliferation of ya ice use is particularly pronounced among Phuket youths. Despite the lack of any medical research or scientific proof, they believe skin whitening is a positive side effect, he said.

“These drug traffickers are clever. They propagate these beliefs among youths, who accept it without proof. The only thing we can prove about ya ice is that it can [negatively] effect your physical and mental health,” he said.

“The sad part is that there are a lot of people falling for the trick, many of them first-time users,” he added.

The ongoing obsession for light skin among Thais, especially women, has no real equivalent in the West. It is continually reinforced in television commercials touting skin whitening creams, armpit-whitening deodorants and myriad other consumer products promoted by beautiful, light-complexioned models.

Pol Col Pramote said there are two main road routes used by traffickers to bring drugs into the South of Thailand, one of which is the Asian Highway 2 that runs from Bangkok all the way to Indonesia. Major coastal roads are also used to move narcotics into the region, he said.

“I have ordered Police Region 8 drug suppression units to carefully monitor those who travel along these roads. We hope we can eliminate the problem soon,” said.

Asked about rumors about a major methamphetamine production base located “somewhere in the middle of the ocean”, he said:

“We have intelligence about a drug production base that was moved to a site inthe middle of the Andaman Sea. I ordered a team of detectives to investigate, but we haven’t found anything yet. We will continue to investigate until we can find it,” he said.

Figures released by the Phuket Provincial Police for August 2011 showed a 21 per cent overall decrease in drug cases (305) compared to August 2010 (241).

In total, there were 259 people arrested in Phuket on drug charges including possession (161), consumption (41), possession with intent to sell (40) and sale (16). There was one arrest for smuggling reported.

Earlier police statements that ya ice was surpassing ya bah in popularity are now supported by crime statistics.

Almost twice as many people were arrested for possession of ya ice (60) than ya bah (33) in August 2011, while 11 people were charged with sale of ya ice compared to just two for sale of ya bah.

Sixty-four bags of ya ice weighing over 3.7 kilograms were seized during the month, compared 8,054 ya bah pills.

Pick up a copy of the October 8 issue of the Phuket Gazette for an in-depth report and interviews with local medical professionals and youths who use methamphetamines for weight loss and skin whitening.

— Warisa Temram

 

Get more from The Thaiger

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.

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

Follow Thaiger by email:

What you get for $X7 hours ago

What $100,000 buys you for a condo in Bangkok, Phuket, Pattaya, Koh Samui and Hua Hin

Thailand8 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Activists plan protests all across Thailand

Thailand9 hours ago

Snitching on parking space hoggers could earn you 5,000 baht in Thailand

Sponsored17 hours ago

10 Best Seed Banks that Ship Cannabis Seeds Discreetly to You (Free US Shipping)

Weather9 hours ago

Storm Noru weakens from typhoon to depression as it moves across Thailand

World10 hours ago

Suicide bombing in Afghanistan hits students preparing for exam

Politics11 hours ago

BREAKING: Prayut reinstated as Prime Minister of Thailand

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Technology11 hours ago

What role for Thailand in China’s great European EV invasion?

Cambodia11 hours ago

Cambodian delegation in UK to seach for stolen treasures

Thailand11 hours ago

20 baht notes printed with errors, says Bank of Thailand

Crime12 hours ago

Loan shark bombs debtor’s house in southern Thailand

Thailand12 hours ago

Thai researchers develop flood-resistant rice strain

Press Room12 hours ago

Southeast Asia’s hospitality leaders step into the ring to fight for sustainability at PHIST 5

Crime12 hours ago

Horrified relatives attempt ID of disfigured suitcase victim

Travel12 hours ago

Things to do in Bangkok that cost next to nothing (2022)

Travel13 hours ago

5 best spa treatments in Bangkok to pamper yourself this September – October

Thailand1 year ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Tourism2 years ago

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

Phuket2 years ago

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

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

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

Tourism2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Trending