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Drug cases top Phuket crime statistics for October

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Drug cases top Phuket crime statistics for October | The Thaiger

PHUKET: Crime statistics released by the Phuket Provincial Police for October this year show decreases in most crime categories, with narcotics-related crimes once again the most common.

There was no change in the number of Category 1 (heinous) crimes year-on-year, with 10 cases reported.

There were four pre-mediated murders reported with two arrests in October this year and five cases of gang robbery, which involve three or more people using force or intimidation to steal from others.

There was a 56.3% increase in Category 2 crimes, which include assault and rape. The increase was led by a doubling in the number of assault cases year on year, with 14 reported in October 2010. There were also five reported rapes during the period, compared to just one in October 2009.

Category 3 crimes, which include all crimes to private property, were down 23.0% year-on-year. There were 43 general theft cases reported in October 2010.

There was a 50% drop in Category 4 crimes, which are a grouping of 10 “crimes of interest”. This was led by a 50% drop in reported embezzlement cases, of which 10 cases were reported in October this year. There were arrests in only two of these cases.

Other “crimes of interest” reported included motorcycle theft (6 cases, 3 arrests), auto theft (5 cases, no arrests) and fraud (2 cases, no arrests).

As usual the bulk of criminal charges were in Category 5, defined as “crimes against the state”. There was a 29.8% overall drop year-on-year, with 295 cases reported.

There were 227 drug cases, with arrests in all cases. This was a 21.2% decrease in reported cases, year-on-year.

More than half of the cases, 144, involved possession and/or sale of ya bah (methamphetamine). Seized as evidence in these cases were 3,552 ya bah pills.

There were also 28 cases involving ya ice (crystal methamphetamine), with 34 people arrested and 122 grams of the drug seized.

Eighteen people were arrested for possession or sale of marijuana, with 141 grams and one live plant seized.

Twenty-eight people were arrested in cases involving possession or sale of krathom, an indigenous plant with leaves that act as a stimulant when ingested.

Evidence seized in these cases included 778 leaves and small amounts of krathom extract.

The number of firearm cases was down 29.4% year-on-year, with 12 cases reported.

Gambling cases were down 20.5%, with 35 reported cases.

There were no reported cases of prostitution in Phuket in October.

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Thailand

Cannabis could generate 8 billion baht for Thai pharmaceutical industry by 2025, expert says

Caitlin Ashworth

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Cannabis could generate 8 billion baht for Thai pharmaceutical industry by 2025, expert says | The Thaiger

Cannabis could become a major cash crop in Thailand. An expert says the cannabis-based medicinal products could generate up to 8 billion baht for the Thai pharmaceutical industry by 2025. Medical cannabis has been legal in Thailand for the past couple years, but recently the government agreed to allow parts of the plant with very, low traces of the “high-inducing” component tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, to be in medicinal products and food.

Cannabis-based medicines have been used as palliative treatment for some cancer patients in Thailand. Last year, nearly 1 million patients used cannabis-based medicines, according to an economist at Kasetsart University’s Agricultural and Resource Economics Department, Ravissa Suchato.

Around 1.2 billion baht worth of medical cannabis was consumed last year, according to Ravissa, who led a recent study on the economic impact of commercial cannabis cultivation in Thailand. If the average consumption rises as expected, medical cannabis could generate 8 billion baht within the next 5 years.

“We believe marijuana has great potential as a cash crop because more patients will start using marijuana-based drugs soon.”

In the past, Thai officials have discussed the opportunity to tap into the global cannabis market by exporting medical cannabis, but Ravissa says Thailand still has a way to go.

“Globally, the recreational use of marijuana has risen a lot faster than pharmaceutical use, so the prospect of exporting marijuana-based medicines from Thailand is still a long way off.”

Parts of the cannabis plant that are rich in THC, like the buds, are still illegal and classified as a Category 5 narcotic. Trafficking the plant is still heavily criminalised. Just over the past few days, border patrol police in the Northeastern province Nakhon Pathom seized hundreds of kilograms of dried, compressed cannabis believed to have been trafficked across the Mekong River from Laos and destined for the South, possibly to Malaysia.

SOURCE: Thai PBS

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Crime

Another drug bust near the Mekong River, 500 kilograms of cannabis seized

Caitlin Ashworth

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Another drug bust near the Mekong River, 500 kilograms of cannabis seized | The Thaiger
PHOTO: MGR Online

In another drug bust in Northeastern province Nakhon Phanom, police arrested a man and seized 500 kilograms of compressed cannabis. Just yesterday, border patrol police in the province seized 920 kilograms of compressed cannabis from a boat on the Mekong River. In both cases, police suspect the cannabis came from Laos, just across the river.

Police say they searched a black Nissan Navara pickup around 1am in the province’s Na Kae district. Police opened the truck’s bed cover and found 12 sacks with 500 packages of dried, compacted cannabis. Each package of cannabis weighed 1 kilogram, similar to the previous bust on the river.

28 year old Saravut Butngam was arrested. Saravut previously worked in construction, but has recently been unemployed. He allegedly told police that a man called him with an opportunity to make 50,000 baht. He was told to drive the pickup truck from a petrol station in the Na Kae district to a specified location in the neighbouring province Sakon Nakhon, police say. From there, another driver would take over.

Border police commander Sippanan Sornkhunkaew says he suspects the cannabis seized in the province was trafficked from Laos across the Mekong River. He says he believes the cannabis was planned to be trafficked to Southern Thailand and then smuggled across the border, possibly to Malaysia.

On Sunday morning, police confiscated 920 kilograms of cannabis from a boat on the Mekong River. When police approached the boat, men jumped off onto a smaller boat and fled the scene. The dried, compacted cannabis was wrapped in 1 kilogram packages.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Drugs

Police seize 920 kilograms of cannabis smuggled across the Mekong River

Caitlin Ashworth

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Police seize 920 kilograms of cannabis smuggled across the Mekong River | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thairath

In a major bust on the Mekong River, notorious for drug smuggling, border patrol police seized 920 kilograms of dried, compacted cannabis from a boat along the Nakhon Pathom riverbank, bordering Laos.

Police were tipped off about a large shipment of drugs being trafficked across the Thai-Laos border. Police spotted a boat around 4am yesterday. When police moved in, men onboard the boat jumped onto a smaller boat and sped off. Police found 23 sacks filled with 1-kilogram packages of compressed cannabis.

Police seize 920 kilograms of cannabis smuggled across the Mekong River | News by The Thaiger

PHOTO: MGR Online

In the recent months, police have seized more than 5 tonnes of cannabis. While the Thai government has been loosening measures on cannabis, allowing parts of the plant with low traces of the psychoactive component tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, to be used in food and medicinal products, trafficking cannabis is still illegal. Cannabis with high amounts of THC is still classified as a Category 5 narcotic.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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