Police have conducted coordinated drug raids across Udon Thani and Khon Kaen, arresting 142 suspects and seizing a combined 8,400 methamphetamine tablets.
Officers from the Provincial Police Region 4 raided 23 locations yesterday in various communities in tambon Tha Phra of Muang district in Khon Kaen as well as an undisclosed number of areas in Udon Thani.
In Khon Kaen, police rounded up 51 suspects and also seized 3,100 methamphetamine pills and two packs of dried marijuana. Police confiscated weapons, bullets and 81,00 baht in cash from the locations.
In Udon Thani, 92 suspects were taken in along with 5,200 speed pills, three packs of dried marijuana, 24 firearms and 125,000 baht in cash.
The raids were part of a 90-day drug suppression period, said Pol Lt Gen Kawee Supanant, chief of the Provincial Police Region 4.
The outcome of the sting operations will be assessed in December, he said, noting similar raids have also been carried out in other upper northeastern provinces.
He said traffickers operated in small groups, each bringing a large quantity of drugs from the border.
The commissioner said at least five permanent drug checkpoints must be set up, particularly in Nong Khai, Bung Kan, Nakhon Phanom and Mukdahan, the four border provinces of the upper Northeast.
The authorities plan to mobilise an intricate network to combat drug smuggling and trafficking in the border areas.
Meanwhile, in Sadao district of Songkhla yesterday, police caught two Malaysian men, identified as Wong Soy Meng, 48, and Lee Cheng We, 33, with 2.4kg of heroin worth about 3 million baht hidden in their car. The vehicle was stopped and searched at a checkpoint on Kanchavanich Road.
Police said the heroin came from a northern province. The suspects were delivering the drug to a customer at a hotel in the district.
In Samut Sakhon, police seized more than 1.7 million methamphetamine pills at a house in Krathum Baen district and arrested four suspects on Thursday night.
The drugs have an estimated street value of 500 million baht.
The four suspects told police the drugs hidden in the house were brought there by a major drug network in the North and they were to be sold to different areas in the country.
Meanwhile, the Office of the Narcotics Control Board (ONCB) is seeking cooperation from the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Ministry to curtail the illicit drug trade on social network sites like Facebook.
ONCB secretary-general Pol Gen Pongsapat Pongcharoen yesterday said his agency has kept a close watch on drug networks using social network sites to conduct the illegal drug trade.
The board has asked the ICT Ministry to find ways of stopping drug gangs from selling illicit drugs online.
The initiative follows the arrest of two Chiang Mai students who were charged with possessing speed pills and accused of selling drugs via Facebook.
Arthit Khadtha, 21, and his girlfriend Darin Wanchupring, 19, were apprehended in Hang Dong district on Thursday in possession of 800 speed pills.
Police tracked Mr Arthit's Facebook page for some time and found he used the social network to peddle drugs.
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- Writer: Post Reporters