Ya bah arrests “on the increase’

PHUKET CITY: The number of arrests for possession or use of ya bah (methamphetamine) has doubled since April, the Gazette has learned.

Pol Capt Aikanit Danpitaksart of the Phuket City Police told the Gazette that he believes the number of people using the drug is increasing, despite Thailand being in the third phase of the government’s “war on drugs”.

He said that part of the reason for the increasing usage and trafficking of the drug may be that dealers no longer fear prison because so many are released on bail by the courts.

“Now we work hard to stop the spread of ya bah, but the number of users and dealers is increasing anyway,” he admitted.

Capt Aikanit said the most recent case occurred on June 16, when 25-year-old Somboon Sae-Loar was arrested at Phuket Villa 5 after selling 20 tablets to an undercover policemen at 250 baht a pill.

Somboon tried to resist arrest by fleeing on his motorbike and sustained minor injuries when he had to be stopped, Capt Aikanit said.

A search of the suspect’s house uncovered 100 more ya bah pills and 5,000 baht in cash, which police seized under the suspicion that it had come from drug sales.

Capt Aikanit noted that until recently most ya bah cases in his district involved only a few pills, but that now arrests for 100 pills or more were becoming more common. 100 pills were seized in a different case on June 16, and 180 more in a case on June 22, he said.

Phuket News
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