Phuket police: Violent crime, drug cases soaring

PHUKET: Forty murders in Phuket since the beginning of the current fiscal year have led a 95% year-on-year increase in the number of violent crime cases on the island, according to official police statistics.

Figures released by Phuket Provincial Police for this year show eight cases of premeditated murder in July alone, with arrests in five cases.

Figures for the period from October 1, 2009 to July 31, 2010 show that 40 murders were committed in Phuket, up 33% compared to the same period in fiscal year 2009.

There were 45 murders reported in Phuket in all of 2009.

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Police group together murder, muggings, gang muggings, kidnapping and arson in a category for particularly violent crimes.

There was a 60% increase in this category in July 2010 compared to July 2009, and a 95% increase in the first ten months of fiscal 2010 compared to the same period in fiscal 2010.

There has also been a dramatic increase in the number of drug arrests, with 438 people arrested in 418 cases in July 2010. This represents a 277% increase in cases compared to July 2009.

For comments by Phuket Provincial Police Commander Pekad Tantipong on the increase in drug crime, see our earlier report here.

Once again, the majority of drug cases involved ya bah (methamphetamine), with 330 people arrested and 17,155 pills seized.

Forty-one people were also arrested for possession of the purer form of the drug known as ya Ice (crystal methamphetamine), with 356 grams seized.

— Stephen Michael Fein

Phuket News
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