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US Drug Enforcement Administration on the Mekong




Mekong awash with drugs, Traffickers look to new routes


Facing death if caught, for a measly 5,000 baht, drug mules swim across the Mekong river from Laos with loads of methamphetamines.

The illegal drug smuggling along the Mekong River is growing rapidly with “mules” with special shoes and swimmers who carry guns and bombs.

Along the border between Thailand and Laos, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration is currently involved in a new battle to stop the flow of illegal substances.

The U.S. DEA Thailand has been working for years to counter the resurgence of drugs – especially methamphetamine, ice (methamphetamine) and cannabis – smuggled into the United States of certain Asian countries through Thailand, is concentrated mainly along the border with Burma and the Golden Triangle.

The drugs are smuggled into Laos first and then spirited across the Mekong River into Thailand

“In these days, ya ba [meth] has become a growing problem in the U.S. … and the best is to address the drug problem at its source,” Sombat said Chao, a U.S. agent. UU. DEA special.

The harsh repression against drug trafficking on the border between Thailand and Burma has forced traffickers to seek alternative routes along the border between Thailand and Laos, said Pol Col Thanachai Phianchang, head of the Sub-Division 10 Division Marine Police, which oversees drug suppression along the Mekong River in Nakhon Phanom, Ubon Ratchathani, Amnat Charoen and Mukdahan provinces.

Drugs are smuggled into Laos and then spirit through the Mekong River in Thailand, said Pol Col Thanachai who is responsible for the fight against drug smuggling problem along the border between Thailand and Laos to Mukdahan to Ubon Ratchathani

The frequency of drug smuggling from Laos to Thailand is growing rapidly. The most common tactics is to smuggling methamphetamine tablets in a pair of shoes modified to hide the drug.

As much as between 1. 000 and 2,000 ya ba pills can be filled at a pair of shoes.

Another tactic of drug trafficking is to swim across the river and the fall of the drugs in the Thai banks.

This tactic is much more difficult to detect and intercept traffickers who chose to leave isolated wooded areas where drug traffickers others collect.
The dealers are very experienced in Laos to swim across the fast flowing river, said Pol Col Thanachai, adding that drug traffickers often use a plastic oil container to help keep them afloat.

They usually work in teams of at least five members who each receive about 5,000 baht for drug trafficking, he said.

Khemarat district of Ubon Ratchathani is seen as a “red zone” for drug trafficking from Laos. This district is the opposite of Songkhone district of Savannakhet province, Laos.

Ban Tha Prachum, a village in Laos in Songkhone district, directly opposite Khemarat district has become one of the greatest places for storage of drugs waiting to be victims of trafficking in Thailand, said Pol Col Thanachai.

Pol Lt Col Phumphothong Sanya, head of the checkpoint room Marine Police Division 10 in Khemarat district, said the fight against drug trafficking does not happen all day.

During the day, police officers are stationed at the border to look for passengers on arrival to the drugs that may have been hidden somewhere in their bodies or luggage.

At night, the marine police are also responsible for intercepting drug traffickers to swim across the river – a much more difficult task that can not be achieved without accurate information from respondents.

Equipped with night vision telescopes, the marine police wait in hiding to catch anyone who is swimming across the river.

It is a difficult and dangerous as the traffickers would rather die than be arrested.


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