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Price for Methamphetamine Pills Plunges to B2 Each in Thailand

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Price for Methamphetamine Pills Plunges to B2 Each

Methamphetamine pills, which once cost up to 300 baht in Thailand, may now be purchased for as little as two baht, according to authorities in central Thailand.

The revelation came after a sting operation in Lop Buri on Thursday, where undercover detectives paid a 24-year-old dealer 4,000 baht in exchange for a plastic bag carrying 2,000 Methamphetamine pills.

The transaction came after two other suspects were apprehended with 168 methamphetamine pills at a residence in Muang district on Thursday.

After questioning the first two suspects, authorities pursued the third, subsequently identified as Wiraphat “Mac” Saelee.

He is now being held at the Lop Buri police station alongside Manus Chanta and Bangorn Chanchampa, the first arrest suspects.

According to (UNODC) the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the price of methamphetamine has been falling in Thailand due to “extreme amounts” produced in the Golden Triangle, a lawless enclave of Myanmar and Laos .

According to new research from UNODC, the synthetic drug trade in East and Southeast Asia is expanding, with manufacturing and trafficking reaching record levels in 2021.

The paper “Synthetic Drugs in Southeast Asia: Latest Developments and Challenges 2022” shows that large quantities of methamphetamine are created, trafficked, and used in the region and that the synthetic drug trade is diversifying.

“Over the past year, organized crime syndicates and armed groups have used the pandemic and political instability in Myanmar’s Golden Triangle and border areas to expand production.”


Methamphetamine Labs

Very few drug labs are left in the Triangle region, the supply continues to grow, and governments and agencies continue to report the same source.” Jeremy Douglas, UNODC Regional Representative for Southeast Asia and the Pacific, remarked.

Lao PDR has developed into a key transshipment hub for trafficking into Thailand and other regions of the Mekong and Asia Pacific, while Malaysia has also been heavily used for transit and trafficking to Indonesia, Philippines, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand.

“The scale and reach of the methamphetamine drug trade in Southeast Asia is staggering. Furthermore, it can continue to expand if the SE Aisan region does not change its approach and address the root causes.

Root causes that have allowed the illegal trade from the Golden Triangle and market demand,” Regional Representative Douglas added.

Organized crime has all the ingredients they need to keep the business growing, including territory to produce, access to precursor chemicals, trafficking routes and relationships to move products, and a large population with spending power to target – they focus on the region and see potential and profits.”

Throughout 2021, almost 172 tons of methamphetamine were seized in East and Southeast Asia, with over 1 billion methamphetamine pills being reported for the first time.


Methamphetamine Seized

The number is seven times greater than it was 10 years ago, when just over 143 million tablets were seized, and more than 35 times higher than it was nearly 20 years ago when 28 million were seized.

In addition, about 79 tons of crystal methamphetamine were seized in 2021, somewhat less than the 82 tons in 2020 – nearly eight times the 10 tons seized a decade before.

In 2021, the supply of Golden Triangle methamphetamine spread farther into South Asia.

Crystal methamphetamine in distinctive Golden Triangle packaging and tablets has been increasingly seized in northeastern India, mirroring a trend in Bangladesh a few years ago.

The cost of both tablets and crystal methamphetamine continues to fall throughout Southeast Asia. As supply increased, wholesale and street prices in Malaysia and Thailand fell to all-time lows in 2021.

“The decrease in the price of crystal methamphetamine is especially worrying because it has become considerably more accessible and affordable to those who could not previously afford it.”

“The societal repercussions of growing usage are severe, and health and harm reduction facilities across the region remain insufficient,” said Kavinvadee Suppapongtevasakul, UNODC Analyst for the Global SMART Program.

“It is also possible that use has been substantially underestimated for years because most regional governments do not track or investigate drug demand,” she added.


Global SMART Program

Although methamphetamine is the primary worry of police throughout the region, other synthetic chemicals that can cause substantial harm to drug users, most notably ketamine, are also freely available.

“While dealing with the meth situation is a top priority for the Thai government and the region, other synthetic drugs and drug combinations have arisen in recent years, and warning is more important than ever,” Thanakorn Kaiyanunta, Deputy Secretary-General of the Narcotics Control Board, said.

“We are collaborating with UNODC, international and regional partners to update our laws and policies, build critical forensic, data, and operational capabilities, and target priority such as chemical trafficking.”

Through the Global SMART Program and the Mekong MOU on Drug Control, UNODC is closely collaborating with countries in East and Southeast Asia to monitor the drug situation and provide advice on cooperation, detection, precursor chemical control, and public health strategies, as well as to assist countries in collaborating on joint and cross-border operations.

Click here to learn more about the UNODC’s Regional Program for Southeast Asia.

The CTNNews editorial team comprises seasoned journalists and writers dedicated to delivering accurate, timely news coverage. They possess a deep understanding of current events, ensuring insightful analysis. With their expertise, the team crafts compelling stories that resonate with readers, keeping them informed on global happenings.

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