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Drug Trafficking in Thailand on the Rise as Producers Gain Access to New Chemicals

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BANGKOK – Defence spokesman Kongcheep Tantrawanit said on Thursday production of illicit drugs is increasing in neighbouring countries as producers gain access to “new chemicals” to replace precursors that have been blocked to them, and more drugs are being smuggled into Thailand.

An updated overview of the drugs situation had been provided to Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwon, who ordered decisive action against the illegal trade, Lt Gen Kongcheep said. He did not elaborate on the new chemicals.

Gen Prawit ordered provincial authorities to take serious steps to tackle the drug trade and coordinate with the Anti-Money Laundering Office to destroy the money trail of the traffickers and masterminds, the spokesman said.

He also ordered officials to cooperate more with authorities in neighboring countries to stop drug production near the border and to suppress smuggling.

Any officials found involved in drugs would face harsh punishment.

The spokesman said an estimated 8% of smuggled methamphetamine was retailed in Bangkok and nearby provinces, while most of the crystal meth, or “ice”, was smuggled to third-party countries through the South.

People were gaining confidence in the authorities’ efforts against the drug trade, and were being more cooperative in coming forward with information, according to Lt Gen Kongcheep.

By Wassana Nanuam
Bangkok Post