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Chinese National Held after Major Drugs Bust

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50 kilograms (110 pounds) of crystal meth — also known as Ice — and 500,000 methamphetamine tablets


BANGKOK: Chinese National Xiangye Chen and two Thai hill tribesmen were arrested in a raid near Bangkok that netted $800,000-worth of crystal methamphetamine and half a million pills, Thai authorities said Friday.

Acting on a tip off anti-drugs officers arrested Chinese national Xiangye Chen and two men from Thailand’s remote, hilly northern border areas, on the outskirts of the Thai capital on Thursday.

A search of a house rented by the trio uncovered 50 kilograms (110 pounds) of crystal meth — also known as Ice — and 500,000 methamphetamine tablets inside two large suitcases, the Office of Narcotics Control Board said.

Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yubamrung, who is leading a nationwide drug crackdown, told reporters the suspects admitted bringing the drugs into Thailand from an unnamed neighbouring country.

“These drugs are to sell in the central provinces (of Thailand),” Chalerm said.

A UN Office on Drugs and Crime report published this week said seizures of crystal meth in Thailand had surged to 1.2 tonnes in 2011, a 75 percent increase on the previous year.

The report blamed trafficking from drug production hubs in Iran and Myanmar. It said Myanmar is at the heart of a growing narcotics crisis in Asia that threatens public security.

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