CHIANG RAI – Since Thailand’s Drug Suppression officials launched a crackdown on drugs transiting through Chiang Rai’s Golden Triangle this April, massive drug hauls from Myanmar have been seized in the past 50 days, according to officials at the Thai Narcotics Suppression Bureau.
According to Narcotics Suppression Bureau the drugs came from Mine Ton township in the Shan State of Myanmar.
Just 2 days ago, soldiers found an abandoned pickup truck with 39 fertilizer sacks containing 7.8 million methamphetamine pills and 50 kilos of ‘ice’ or crystal methamphetamine.
Soldiers reported the suspect sped away after seeing Thai troopers manning a checkpoint but the drive put the vehicle into a ditch and fled into the forest on the road between Doi Luang and Wiang Chiang Rung districts in Chiang Rai.
On May 14th bureau seized 5 million methamphetamine pills and 70 kilos of opium near Wieng Pa Pao district in Chiang Rai while it was being smuggled in from bordering Myanmar.
Earlier in April, Thai anti-narcotics police seized 1.7 billion baht (US$52.75 million/K71.55 billion) worth of illegal drugs in the same area.
Thai police said the illicit drugs were smuggled via the Mekong River in Chiang Rai’s Golden Triangle – which borders the areas between Thailand, Myanmar and Laos.
Just this week the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) held a conference of the Mekong MOU on Drug Control to discuss the illicit drug situation in the region, and to negotiate a new strategic plan.
Senior drug policy leaders from the Lower Mekong Sub-Region – Thailand, China, Lao, Myanmar, Cambodia and Viet Nam– met in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar to discuss the growing problem of synthetic drug manufacturing in the region and its effect on neighboring countries.
By Geoff Thomas