GMS meets to curb trade of precursors

GMS meets to curb trade of precursors

Thailand and the five other nations in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) yesterday launched a three-day meeting in Bangkok to discuss narcotics problems, with a focus on drug precursors, or the industrial chemicals that are used by narcotics producers.

Cambodia, China, Myanmar, Vietnam, Laos, Thailand and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) are attending the meeting.

Niyom Toemsisuk, secretary-general of the Narcotics Control Board (NCB) said the meeting is discussing ways to stop drug precursors from ending up in the hands of narcotics trafficking rings, which purchase the chemicals off the legal market.

For instance, acetic anhydride (AA) is used in many industrial processes for the production of plastics, textiles, dyes, photo-chemical agents, perfumes, explosives and cigarette filters. However, it is also an important agent used in the illicit production of heroin.

"Most of these chemical substances were being smuggled to the neighbouring countries through Thailand from China, India and other countries with leather or pesticide industries," said Mr Niyom.

"Certain types of these chemicals are legally allowed to be used in certain industries in Thailand, but they can also be used to synthesise narcotic drugs," he said.

The chemicals allow narcotics producers to make larger quantity of the drugs at a lower price. Narcotics are often produced in the Golden Triangle, where the borders of Thailand, Laos and Myanmar converge.

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