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Police Seize 1.4Kg of Heroin in Northeastern Thailand, 4 Smugglers Arrested

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Police Seize 1.4Kg of Heroin in Northeastern Thailand
Four men are taken into custody at the house in Sangkhom district of Nong Khai: Police Image

Police in northeastern Thailand detained four drug smugglers and recovered 1.4 tons of heroin transported across the Mekong River from Laos, on Wednesday night.

Local officers and border patrol police were dispatched to Phukhao Thong village in tambon Ban Muang, Nong Khai province, after an investigation revealed that a large quantity of smuggled drugs were being kept at a house in Sangkhom district of the northeastern province bordering Laos.

When officers arrived, they discovered four males hauling cardboard boxes into the residence. The officers discovered heroin in the 20 cardboard boxes, said Pol Lt Gen Sarayut Sanguanphokhai, commissioner of Provincial Police Region 4.

According to Pol Lt Gen Sarayut, the four men were identified as Niyom, 54, Sarawut, 39, Prasit, 53, and Pratho, 48. He did not provide their surnames.

During questioning, the suspects acknowledged to hiding more heroin in a neighboring rubber plantation. Officers went there and searched a makeshift shelter, uncovering nine additional cardboard boxes. The 29 crates yielded 208 packets containing 1,404 kilogrammes of heroin, according to police.

The suspects claimed that some Lao nationals on a motorboat had delivered the heroin to the Mekong river bank at Phukhao Thong village. The Thai men then took the pills to the residence to await delivery.

All were accused with bringing Category 1 drugs (heroin) into the nation, as well as unlawful drug possession. They were turned over to the Na Ngiew police station for judicial proceedings.

Heroin Smuggling in Thailand

Thailand is well-known as a key transit center for heroin trafficking in Southeast Asia. The country’s weak borders and strategic location make it an ideal target for drug traffickers looking to transport illicit items throughout the area.

Heroin enters Thailand through the Golden Triangle, an area straddling the borders of Myanmar, Laos, and Thailand where opium cultivation and heroin production have thrived for generations. Traffickers employ advanced smuggling techniques, concealing drugs in concealed compartments of cars, cargo containers, and even everyday things.

Thai officials are constantly battling these criminal organizations, seizing large amounts of heroin each year. However, the sheer volume of commerce and the cartels’ vast funds make it a difficult endeavor. Corruption in law enforcement and government echelons exacerbates the fight against the drug trade.

The smuggling routes cross Thailand, with heroin bound for markets in Europe, Australia, and North America. Profits from the heroin trade fuel violence, corruption, and instability across the area, making it a severe danger to national and international security.

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