CHIANG RAI – Royal Thai Police officers seized 970,000 pills of methamphetamine hidden in a secret compartment of a vehicle attempting to pass through Chiang Rai’s Tham Pla checkpoint.
The seizure took place just hours after police completed special highway checkpoint narcotics training organized by Joint Inter-agency Task Force West. The pills, referred to as yaba in Thai, had a street value worth 6 million U.S. dollars.
The checkpoint training was a joint initiative from JIATF West’s new “Narcotics Enforcement Training Team” along with experts from Naval Criminal Investigative Services and the Drug Enforcement Agency. The NETT was formed in 2012 to provide special counter drug training to law enforcement agencies such as the Royal Thai Police Narcotics Suppression Unit.
According to U. S. Coast Guard Rear Adm. James Rendon, Director of JIATF West, “This drug seizure is a testament to the effectiveness of JIATF West’s efforts to enhance the counter drug capabilities of our partner nations in the Asia-Pacific.”
This recent counter narcotics training by JIATF West’s NETT was a two day seminar on how to properly search commercial and non-commercial vehicles. The training was presented to Royal Thai Police officers at four different highway checkpoints located throughout Chiang Rai province.
JIATF West is U. S. Pacific Command’s executive agent for Department of Defense counter narcotics support to law enforcement agencies. Since 1989, JIATF West has been applying DoD capabilities to conduct and support inter-agency operations designed to identify, disrupt, and dismantle drug-related threats in the Asia-Pacific.