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Mother Busted for Drug Smuggling in Northeastern Thailand

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police, Mother,Thailand

A 31-year-old mother of two has been arrested by police with more than 4 million meth pills in Nakhon Phanom province in northeastern Thailand. The woman said she took up drug smuggling to feed her family.

Ms Laddawan Chaiyawong was taken into custody after border patrol police found 10 fertilizer sacks containing 4,622,000 speed pills in her pickup truck during a random vehicle search.

Ms Laddawan told police that she earned her living selling som tam (papaya salad) and doing manual labour.

Her husband was serving eight years in jail on a drug conviction and she was struggling to care for her two sons, aged 14 and 3 years old. She told police that she couldn’t make ends meet during the Covid-19 pandemic and decided to deliver drugs to earn income to feed her family.

She made the first delivery last month and got paid 200,000 baht.

Recently she was approached by a member of a drug gang who offered her 400,000 baht to pick up 4.6 million meth pills smuggled from Laos, said Police said.

Authorities plan to extend the investigation to arrest other people involved.

Since the beginning of this year, more than 20 million speed pills have been seized in Nakhon Phanom, the Bangkok Post reports. Laos is growing in importance as a transit hub for methamphetamine and related chemicals, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has reported.

In addition to the usual routes from Myanmar to northern Thailand, illicit producers are using Laos as a transit country to Thailand given pandemic restrictions.

This has led to more seizures of methamphetamine and crystal meth at the Thai-Lao border.

Last year, 5.7 tonnes of crystal meth were seized in 12 northeastern provinces of Thailand, up from just 266kg in 2019, the UNODC said.

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