CHIANGRAI TIMES-Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yubumrung said the army would help erect barbed-wire fences along the northern border, as 87 percent of illicit drugs were smuggled through eight border provinces, particularly Chiang Rai, Mae Hong Son and Chiang Mai.
Mr Chalerm said Thailand could not achieve this mission alone, but needed cooperation from neighboring countries, and focus should be placed on reducing sources and demand for drugs by seriously cracking down on dealers and intercepting narcotics ingredients.
He said officials were studying the law to legally tap telephones of inmates who may involved in drug trafficking in order to gather information to wipe out drug syndicates.
The government has conducted successful drug bust operations over the past four months, Mr Chalerm said, adding that 16.49 million pills of methamphetamine were seized, nearly 600 kg of crystal meth or ice, 3,400 kg of marijuana, while Bt632.86 million worth of assets and cash were also seized.
He added that the government has no policy of preemptive killings, but that drug dealers may kill their own colleagues to cut their ties and prevent authorities from finding clues and witnesses to arrest them.
Mr Chalerm also urged the media to join in the operation by publicizing that the drug problem was an international scourge that needed cooperation from ordinary citizens.
He added that, according to figures compiled by the United Nations, that the number of drug abusers is estimated at 210 million worldwide.