Phuket’s vice: Island faces rising tide in drug woes

Picture courtesy of PR Phuket.

Phuket’s Vice Governor acknowledged there is an escalating drug crisis on the island, with surging narcotics use and a growing number of dealer arrests. The revelation was made during the Phuket Provincial Narcotics Prevention and Suppression Center Committee meeting at the Provincial Hall.

The meeting was attended by Phuket Provincial Police Deputy Commander, Police Colonel Kitipong Klaikaew, Thongchai Somkiatkul from the Ministry of Public Health Region 8 Office, and other heads of local government agencies and officials.

This was the 10th meeting this year aimed at reviewing drug crime statistics and reporting operational outcomes based on the action plan under the national policy of preventing, suppressing, and addressing drug issues in Phuket.

Phuket’s Vice Governor Anupap Rodkhwan Yodrambam made known that in August, Phuket experienced 200 drug-related arrests, with most cases linked to methamphetamine, followed by crystal meth, heroin, and cocaine. This figure signifies a rise of 17 cases from July this year, which recorded 183 arrests.

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A comparison with the previous year’s data reveals a more alarming trend. In 2022, 1,971 arrests were made, whereas this year has already seen 2,209 arrests, marking a stark increase of 238 cases.

Breaking down this year’s drug cases, Anupap reported that the majority were for personal possession (876 cases), closely followed by possession beyond personal use (862 cases), and distribution (233 cases).

Anupap added that the committee will continue its efforts in drug use prevention and suppression, and urged the police and administrative departments to keep uncovering networks that transport drugs into Phuket.

In related news, last week, a drug raid executed in the Rawai Sea gypsy village in Phuket led to the arrest of a 20 year old local man.

He was apprehended on charges of possessing 20 methamphetamine pills, colloquially known as Yaba. The arrest was part of a three-month campaign to crack down on drug dealing, use, and possession in Phuket. To read more about the story click HERE.

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Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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