(CTN News) – Police seized 203 kilograms of cannabis smuggled into Thailand from Laos on Tuesday. Several Thai men were arrested in Bueng Kan province in northeast Thailand after they picked up the cannabis on the border.
Considering this is the first case of its kind since June 9, when marijuana was decriminalized in Thailand, police don’t know what punishment they will receive.
On June 9, cannabis was delisted as a Category 5 narcotic, but legislation regarding its import and export is not yet in place. Until the “Cannabis and Hemp Act” is enacted, police aren’t sure what punishment marijuana smugglers will face.
The Royal Thai Navy observed a silver Isuzu “delivery-type truck” acting suspiciously near the Mekong River in Bueng Kan province near the Laos border on Tuesday at 5 am.
Watching the river, the navy saw a boat cross from Laos, dump sacks, and immediately return to Laos. When three Thai men emerged from the suspicious car and picked up the sacks, the navy intercepted them and called the police.
The three men – aged 24, 24, and 26 – were arrested for “jointly bringing prohibited items into the kingdom without going through customs.” Cannabis and three mobile phones were seized.
According to the men, they were hired to pick up marijuana from the border and transport it to Nonthaburi province. According to them, they would each receive 10,000 baht.
Since marijuana is no longer a Category 5 narcotic and all prisoners held for marijuana-related offenses have been released from prison, the police did not know what to do with the men.
Under the Customs Act of 2017, illegally importing any prohibited item is punishable by up to ten years in prison and/or a fine of four times the value of the item.
According to the police, each kilogram of dried cannabis bricks is worth 3500 – 5000 baht.
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