Police warn courier firms to beef up drugs checks

Police warn courier firms to beef up drugs checks

Police have warned courier firms to be more stringent in monitoring parcels they deliver because more illicit drugs are being trafficked via mail.

Deputy national police chief Chalermkiat Srivorakhan said privately owned courier companies must be on alert for parcels which may contain narcotics.

If they are found to lack proper mail inspection and screening measures or allow drugs to be trafficked under their watch, the businesses could face heavy penalties, including the suspension of their operating licence, Pol Gen Chalermkiat said.

He added that the companies would be liable for heavier punishments if they fail to inspect parcels containing drugs mailed by the same group of traffickers repeatedly. Apart from a jail term of up to five years and/or a maximum fine of 50,000 baht, the firms may also have to answer to the Anti-Money Laundering Office.

A proposal will soon be tabled to update laws and regulations governing courier services for more effective prevention of drug trafficking.

The courier issue was raised at a meeting at the Narcotics Suppression Bureau yesterday. It was attended by related state agencies and representatives of 14 privately run courier firms.

Pol Gen Chalermkiat said companies are expected to know what they are delivering.

"The companies are the middlemen in the delivery process. They can't get away with claiming they have no idea about what's in parcels passing through their hands," the deputy national police chief.

Some firms refuse to open customers' parcels, claiming that it could damage the contents and land them with a lawsuit. Pol Gen Chalermkiat said this has created an opportunity for drug gangs to send drugs via mail.

Pol Gen Chalermkiat said more gangs were using mail services to traffic drugs since the authorities launched heavy crackdowns against them.

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