Modern drug dealers pose special problems for police

Drug gangs are expanding and becoming more tech savvy, making it even more difficult for Thai authorities to combat widespread drug problems, the Office of Narcotics Control Board (ONCB) said on Monday.

Students of Wat Chong Lom in Bangkoks Yannawa district relax in front of their school where an anti-drugs banner is hung. Youngsters are the target of City Hall's new drug prevention campaign 'Bangkok Clear', aimed at protecting them from the dangers of drugs. (Photo by Panumas Sanguanwong)

The behaviour of drug organisations is changing and their planning is becoming more elaborate, the agency said in a press statement. Their activities are also increasingly linked to other types of crime such as money laundering and human trafficking.

Teen drug gangs, who use modern communication tools such as social media sites to aid them in committing drug crimes, are also emerging rapidly, said the ONCB.

The agency said the new media makes it easier for gangs to attract new members and also allows them to operate more efficiently.

It also mentioned that drug users changing into drug dealers is becoming a growing trend.

Police confiscated 91.27 million methamphetamine pills, also known as ya ba, from Oct 1, 2012 to July 10, 2013, an increase of 33.47 million or 57.9% when compared to the same period of the previous year, according to an ONCB report.

Authorities also seized 1.44 tonnes of crystal meth, or ya ice, in the Oct 1, 2012 to July 10, 2013 period, an increase of about 22% compared to the same period of the previous year.

The ONCB added that the amount of seized illegal drugs rose in this year's report despite decreases in the number of drug-related cases and drug offenders.

Based on statistics, ya ba and ya ice are the two most popular illicit drugs in Thailand.

The agency also noted that most of the drugs are imported via borders in the North and the Northeast while production in Thailand is more small scale.

Related search: yaba, ya ice, methamphetamine, crystal meth, Office of Narcotics Control Board

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