Arrest warrants have been issued after a woman allegedly stole 300 grams of crystal meth from family members was set on fire in Southern Thailand.
The court approved warrants for 5 family members on charges of the illegal detention and attempted murder.
Warrant s were approved for Mr. Solae Jisawat 41; his wife Jantira Binsaho 36; and relatives Yongyut Chumpraman, 26 and Patraporn Petcharat, 29.
According to local police, the suspects believed Malai Chumpraman, 50, stole a package containing 300g of crystal meth. They had hidden the crystal meth near her shelter in Ban Khok Mao village in Songkhla. A buyer was also supposed to pick up the crystal meth.
A 17-year-old who had already been arrested in the case also confessed to taking Mrs Malai to the four suspects. They allegedly assaulted and soaked her with petrol, demanding the return of the package of crystal meth.
Mrs Malai told them she had already dissolved the crystal meth in water, police said.
The gang then set her on fire at her shelter about 2am last Sunday. The severely injured Mrs Malai fled and hid in the back of pickup truck. She was discovered around dawn and taken to Hat Yai Hospital.
Mrs Malai earned her living as a scrap collector. Her husband is in jail for drug offences, which also include selling crystal meth.
Thailand Struggles with Crystal Meth
Seizures of high-purity crystal meth have surged more than tenfold in Thailand over the past two years. Statistics also show, a stark indicator of industrial-scale production of the stimulant in neighboring Myanmar.
Northern Thailand is also a major trafficking route for meth manufactured in Myanmar’s Shan and Kachin states.
Police say organized crime groups have allied with local pro-government militias to set-up “super labs” to make methamphetamine.
The drug syndicates have distributed the crystal meth across the Asia-Pacific region, from South Korea to New Zealand.
Some 18.4 tonnes of meth, also known as ice, was seized in Thailand in 2018.