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Chiang Rai’s Third Army Ramps Up Security at Myanmar Boarder

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CHIANG RAI – Third Army commander Wijak Siribansop has told Thai media that soldiers along the Thai-Myanmar border have beefed up patrols to ward off an expected influx of drugs.

Commander Wijak Siribansop said 300 to 400 million methamphetamine pills are expected to be smuggled into Thailand from Myanmar by ethnic drug networks seeking money to fund their fight against Myanmar authorities.

The volume of methamphetamine seized coming into Thailand over the past three months is higher than usual, and accounts for one-third of the entire amount of the drug seized over the entire year, Lt Gen Wijak said.

The 3rd Army believes ethnic minority groups, especially the Wa and the Lahu, are badly in need of money, which they raise from the illicit drug trade, after having come under increased pressure from Myanmar authorities.

The Thai army and the Office of the Narcotics Control Board have agreed to install more security cameras along the Thai-Myanmar border in Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai and Mae Hong Son, especially along paths used by drug smugglers previously, he said.

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