Thailand’s Anti-drug Tsar has told a press briefing that crystal meth has once again begun to flooding into Thailand despite Myanmar resent crack down. Covid-19 cause smuggling delays in narcotics production but they have since revamped.
Thailand Secretary-General of the Office of the Narcotics Control Board (ONCB) Niyom Termsrisuk said drug traffickers have been smuggling large quantities of crystal meth recently to unload stock which had become stuck in the country due to the Covid-19 lockdown.
“As the government started to relax Covid-19 measures, drugs from the the Golden Triangle have made a return. Smuggling had been obstructed by national lockdowns as well as Myanmar’s heavy crackdown on production,” Mr Niyom said.
So far for the 2020 fiscal year, 11 tons of crystal meth have been seized by authorities. He believe that most consignments were en route to third countries such as; Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.
Thailand a hub for meth and crystal meth transport
“Thailand’s geography, with its borders adjacent to drug production sites in the Golden Triangle, and its status as a hub that connects land, air and maritime transport make it hard for the country to avoid being used as a route to smuggle crystal meth to other regions,” said the secretary-general.
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime has noted that Thailand and countries in the Mekong sub-region are facing more severe narcotic problems. Especially with crystal meth. Above all due to the expansion of synthetic drug manufacture in the region.
According to the ONCB’s operation centre, only 10.8 tons of crystal meth were seized in the whole of the 2019.
Over 4tons of crystal meth already seized
During the Covid-19 lockdown easing from May–July, the Thai authorities made eight arrests. Relating to the smuggling of over 100kg of crystal meth, accounting for 4.3 tons so far this year.
On July 11, police in Surat Thani arrested three men for smuggling over one ton of crystal meth hidden in cow dung. The smugglers said they had brought the crystal meth from storage in Samut Sakhon. They were going to drop it in Satun province in Southern Thailand. The haul was expected to fetch Bt3.6 billion if sold abroad.
Over the past two weeks alone, officers made two consecutive arrests for drug trafficking. On is Surat Thani and the other in Narathiwat. The seized amounts of crystal meth weighed 2.44 tons in total.
Source: Bangkok Post, UNODC