Thailand’s new Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin said that his government will abolish methamphetamine abuse during its time, adding that actions will focus on quickly seizing drug dealers’ assets.
On Sunday, the prime minister made the statement while overseeing the cremation of 25 tonnes of narcotics in Samut Prakan province. 12 tonnes of methamphetamine tablets, 11 tonnes of crystal meth, and 418 kilogrammes of heroin were among the illicit narcotics destroyed in closed cases.
“Narcotics issues have been on the national agenda of the government since its formation,” Mr Srettha remarked at the event.
The administration would minimise the illegal drug problem as much as possible in the first year of its tenure, and methamphetamine pills would be eliminated throughout its time, he stated.
“As prime minister, I lead the collaborative efforts of all organisations and people to solve the problem, and I will continue to monitor progress,” Mr Srettha added.
“Within a year, the problem must be solved, and this government will eliminate methamphetamine pills.” “I will destroy them all, just like you see today,” the prime minister stated at the narcotics incineration event.
Effective measures, he believes, will include the prompt seizure of drug dealers’ assets and the rapid disposal of seized narcotics.
“If authorities take too long to confiscate drug dealers’ assets, they will be financially healthy enough to resume their narcotics business,” Mr Srettha warned.
“Drug dealers must be dealt with ruthlessly.” These are offenders who should not only be imprisoned. What they are most concerned about is the expropriation of their assets. “I request that organisations impound their assets as soon as possible and not allow them to be conveniently transferred,” the prime minister stated.
Other remedies will include drug rehabilitation, prevention of drug abuse, and control of drug smugglers.
On Wednesday, Army rangers discovered more than 250,000 methamphetamine pills in sacks abandoned by three fleeing smugglers on the banks of the Mekong River in the Ban Phaeng district of Nakhon Phanom province.
After receiving information that illicit drugs will be carried across the river and delivered there, paramilitary rangers set up an ambush along the riverbank in Ban Phaeng area. In the early hours of Wednesday, they saw three men carrying two sacks along the riverbed near Phaeng Tai village.
The rangers appeared and asked that the men stop for a search. They reacted by tossing the two sacks and fleeing. The sacks included 129 bundles containing a total of 258,000 speed pills. The drugs were turned over to authorities at the Ban Phaeng police station.
Currently, drug dealers face up to 20 years in prison or between 2 and 20 years if caught supplying to minors. Those caught with smaller amounts, on the other hand, may be able to avoid incarceration in favour of rehabilitation or therapy.
Last year, the health ministry proposed that only persons in possession of more than 15 tablets be considered dealers.
Methamphetamines (Yaba or Ice) are classified as a Schedule I substance, which carries the severe punishments in Thailand when compared to other drugs. Anyone found guilty of using or having any drugs from Category 1, which includes Ecstacy and Heroin, faces up to ten years in prison and a fine of THB 200,000.
People caught with more than 20 grammes of these narcotics will face heavier penalties, including the death penalty.
When a person is apprehended by the authorities on drug accusations in Thailand, they are presumed innocent until the court rules otherwise. Individuals in captivity have rights that they are often ignorant of.
A Thai attorney, for example, can assist in requesting bail from the court and a forensic analysis to determine guilt. When a person is arrested for drug possession, the police have the ability to request a urine test from the suspect.
If the suspect is also a user, they may be judged to be unwell and will be granted certain rights while in jail and thereafter.