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Malaysia coast guard busts record methamphetamine shipment, possibly smuggled from Golden Triangle

Caitlin Ashworth

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Malaysia coast guard busts record methamphetamine shipment, possibly smuggled from Golden Triangle | The Thaiger
PHOTO: New Strait Times
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Malaysia’s coast guard made its largest bust, seizing more than 2 tonnes of crystal methamphetamine that was hidden in packets of Chinese tea. The shipment of illegal drugs, worth 105.9 million ringgit, or 789 million baht, is part of a large-scale drug trade across Southeast Asia, China and Australia.

The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency director general, Mohamad Zubil Mat Som, says the coast guard noticed a recreational boat moving “suspiciously” off Penang island. The coast guard followed the boat, which turned into a chase when the 26 year old Malaysian driver, the only occupant on the boat, refused to stop.

The driver jumped off the boat. The coast guard later found the man and arrested him. There is a mandatory death penalty for convicted drug traffickers in Malaysia.

The coast guard say they found 2.12 tonnes of crystal methamphetamine hidden in packets of Chinese tea, the largest bust in the maritime agency’s 15 year history. Drug shipments busted by the maritime agency in the past were disguised in similar tea packaging. Officials are still investigating to determine where the drugs were shipped from, but Mohamad suspects it came from Myanmar because of the writing on the packaging.

“It is highly possible that the crystal methamphetamine was smuggled from Myanmar’s Golden Triangle.”

Southeast Asian regional representative for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Jeremy Douglas, says the region needs to step up and think ahead to prevent future drug shipments.

“As big as two-plus tonnes is – and it’s massive – the syndicates that run the drug trade in Asia can easily replace shipments like this… The region needs a forward looking strategy that addresses root causes if they ever hope to get ahead of the situation.”

SOURCE: Reuters| AFP

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Avatar

    James Pate

    Tuesday, December 15, 2020 at 5:36 am

    Mandatory death sentence seems appropriate. Even though Mr. Douglas said this huge haul can be easily replaced, I hope a lot of misery has been prevented.

  2. Avatar

    indisPC

    Tuesday, December 15, 2020 at 9:37 am

    Meth is an epidemic in SE Asia. Prohibition has made this problem. Sensible drug policies are desperately needed. Current policies have actually driven criminals to produce meth since it’s cheaper and can be made in a lab using chemicals. Telling people that marijuana is just as bad as heroin is also a public health policy disaster.

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Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

Bangkok

Police in Bangkok arrest 3 people for allegedly selling cannabis cookies

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Police in Bangkok arrest 3 people for allegedly selling cannabis cookies | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Tidhoo

Police in Bangkok arrested 3 people for allegedly making cannabis cookies and selling them through the messaging application LINE under a chat group called “The Hippy Cookie.” Police raided a condominium room in the Bang Na district and seized 13 “foreign types” of cannabis, 46 food products made with cannabis and 3 types of hallucinogenic mushrooms.

Using the LINE messaging app, the suspects allegedly sold cannabis and cannabis food products. The suspects allegedly sent the cannabis to buyers using a food delivery service.

An investigator joined the chat group and posed as a buyer, ordering 5 grams of cannabis for 3,500 baht. When the cannabis was sent through the food delivery service, police asked the driver to return the package to the suspects. Police say a suspect came down to receive the returned package. Investigators then searched the suspect’s condominium room.

One of the female suspects allegedly told the police that she used to sell cookies (regular cookies), adding that she has an interest in cannabis. She then studied how to make cannabis cookies and contact cannabis suppliers in Thailand before starting the illegal business with her boyfriend and a friend. She allegedly told police she started the business a year ago and has more than 100 regular customers.

The suspects were charged with illegally processing and distributing narcotic drugs. Parts of the cannabis plant with high amounts of the psychoactive component tetrahydrocannabinol, such as the buds, are still classified in Thailand as a Category 5 narcotic.

SOURCE: Pattaya News

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Crime

Kanchanaburi police officer’s twin sons arrested for trafficking methamphetamines

The Thaiger

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Kanchanaburi police officer’s twin sons arrested for trafficking methamphetamines | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Matichon News

Twin sons of a Thai police officer have been arrested and charged with trafficking methamphetamine, according to Thai-language daily Matichon. The arrests were made yesterday.

Thai army and border patrol Police stopped a car driven by the two 20 year old twins at a routine checkpoint in western Thailand. A routine search of the vehicle uncovered 2,000 methamphetamine tables in 4 separate containers.

The twins told police that a Burmese person told him to fetch the drugs from the Phaya Tongsoo Village in Myanmar, just across the border from the Sangkhlaburi district in Kanchanburi A Burmese man later took one of the twins across the border to a temple, where he received 2,000 methamphetamine pills.

The father of the twins is a Thai police officer who had served in Sangkhla Buri and Thong Phapoom districts in Kanchanaburi. He is now working at the Office of Police Region 9, accord to Matichon News.

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Bangkok

Police shoot and kill man suspected of dealing “K-powdered milk”

Caitlin Ashworth

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Police shoot and kill man suspected of dealing “K-powdered milk” | The Thaiger
PHOTO: HD.co.th

A man suspected of selling the ketamine-based drug cocktail, which is said to be tied to at least 10 deaths in Bangkok, was shot and killed in a shootout with police in Nakhon Pathom, just west of the capital. The narcotic cocktail, known as “K powdered milk,” is ketamine laced with methamphetamine, heroin and the anti-anxiety medication diazepam, all crushed up together resembling powdered milk.

Police tracked down 41 year old Wasan Khiaohom yesterday. He was in a pickup truck parked next to another car on a roadside in Nakhon Pathom’s Mueang district. As officers moved in to investigate, Wasan, who also went by the name Ple Kampangsaen, got out of a pickup and pulled out a gun, firing shots at the officers. Police fired back, shooting him. Wasan tried to flee the area, but collapsed and died in a wooded area by the road.

Police say they searched Wasan’s pockets and found a small bag of “K powdered milk” and 40 ecstasy pills. Police also arrested 2 alleged accomplices who were driving the car and pickup truck.

Police have been cracking down on illicit drugs after 10 people died reportedly after taking the narcotic drug cocktail while others were hospitalised. From January 13 to 18, police arrested 592 people in the drug crackdown. In a series of busts, police say they seized a total of 8,644,825 baht worth of drugs including methamphetamine pills, crystal methamphetamine, cannabis, ketamine, kratom leaves, kratom drink and ecstasy pills.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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