CHIANG RAI – Drug suppression agencies are being told to crack down on drug smuggling from the notorious Golden Triangle, one of Asia’s two main opium-producing areas.
The Golden Triangle covers an area of approximately 950,000 square kilometers where Myanmar, Laos and Thailand meet.
The order was recently given at a meeting of the National Command Centre for Combating Drugs chaired by Deputy Prime Minister and Justice Minister ACM Prajin Juntong.
The instruction was prompted by ongoing drug smuggling activities into Thailand’s upper North and upper Northeast, said ACM Prajin after the meeting.
Recently, three million tablets of methamphetamine were seized in a major crackdown, which underlined observations that Thailand has become a transit point for transnational drug smuggling, he said.
State agencies responsible for tackling the problem, including the 3rd Army, Provincial Police Region 5, the 2nd Army and Provincial Police Region 4, were also instructed to expand their scope of operations aimed at deterring smuggling in their areas and work more closely together to improve efficiency in overall drug suppression, he said.
Another recent huge bust in which 250 kilogrammes of crystal methamphetamine were intercepted while being smuggled on a train to the South, was also seen as evidence of Thailand being exploited as a route for transnational trafficking gangs to move narcotics to out of the region, he said.
ACM Prajin insisted the number of drug users prosecuted has tumbled over the past three years, adding the number jailed for drug offences in 2017 fell by 10%.