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Police Seize 50 Million Meth Pills in Western Thailand

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Police Seize 50 Million Meth Pills in Western Thailand

(CTN News) – Police in Thailand confiscated a record quantity of methamphetamine tablets near the Myanmar border in the western province of Kanchanaburi.

On Tuesday, police officers discovered an estimated 50 million methamphetamine tablets packed in sacks in a freight truck stopped at a joint police-military road check. The truck’s occupants, a man and a woman, were both detained.

The number of methamphetamine tablets seized is a record for Thailand, according to Jeremy Douglas, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime’s (UNODC) Southeast Asia regional representative.

The largest reported seizure in the region occurred in neighboring Laos in October 2021, when a shipment of 55 million tablets was uncovered.

“We’ve not seen major cases here in Kanchanaburi for a couple of years, and never anything like this,” Douglas went on to say. “But it’s also not a surprise given the extreme supply being produced by militias and traffickers in northern Myanmar.”

Police Seize 50 Million Meth Pills in Western Thailand

Because of inadequate security procedures in border areas where minority ethnic groups have long fought for greater autonomy, Myanmar has historically been the region’s principal drug producing area.

For decades, several of the country’s most prominent ethnic armed organizations have been extensively involved in narcotics production.

A military takeover in Myanmar in 2021 that deposed Aung San Suu Kyi’s elected government sparked widespread armed resistance, severely destabilizing the country.

The UNODC said in its June 2023 report on synthetic drugs in East and Southeast Asia that the massive trade in opium, methamphetamine and other illegal narcotics showed no signs of decreasing.

Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister, Anutin Charnvirakul, told reporters that illegal drugs used to be smuggled into Thailand’s northern and northeastern provinces, but had moved to western provinces such as Kanchanaburi due to increased surveillance and security along the old routes, a point made earlier this year by the United Nations.

According to Anutin, heightened battle between Myanmar’s military and its adversaries within the country’s pro-democracy movement and ethnic minority armed groups raised the risks for traffickers along their old routes.

Police Chiang Rai

Police Seize 2 Million Meth Pills in Chiang Rai

Last week Police have arrested two drug mules carrying 2 million meth pills at a checkpoint in the northern border province of Chiang Rai. They were only identified as Mr. Kriti, 44, and Mr. Phap, 56.

Chiang Rai police confirmed that the two had been arrested and charged with the distribution of a Category 1 substance.

Authorities set up checkpoints on Road No 131 in tambon Rop Wiang of Chiang Rai on December 6 in response to a tip regarding a forthcoming effort to carry drugs via the Chiang Rai bypass.

On Saturday morning, police stopped and inspected a Chevrolet pickup truck traveling into Chiang Rai with Lampang license plates. Phap was in the passenger seat as Kriti drove the car.

Officers discovered numerous black plastic bags in the rear seat and unzipped them to find ten weaved sacks containing methamphetamine bags branded with Y1 and A. Each sack held 200,000 pills, for a total of 2 million.

The pair confirmed to authorities that they had been solicited to transport drugs during the Loy Krathong holiday.

They told authorities that they had just finished loading their vehicle 30 minutes previously and had just driven around 200 meters before being stopped.

Last month, the Mekong River patrol team, in coordination with paramilitary rangers and border patrol police, apprehended drug smugglers in Chiang Saen Chiang Rai. The combined operation resulted in the seizure of about 3 million meth pills.

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