Student nabbed with imported ecstasy haul

Student nabbed with imported ecstasy haul

An 18-year-old student at a private college in Nonthaburi has been arrested with 10,000 ecstasy pills sent to him from the Netherlands, Office of the Narcotics Control Board (ONCB) chief Niyom Termsrisuk said yesterday.

Mr Niyom said the student ordered 35,000 ecstasy pills, paying in bitcoin cryptocurrency, via the internet. He was arrested when the first shipment of 10,000 arrived by airmail.

A second shipment of 25,000 pills was on the way and would be seized when it arrived, he added.

The ONCB secretary-general said the student's arrest and drug seizure were the result of cooperation between his organisation and the Airport Interdiction Task Force (AITF), which detected the shipment.

A search of the youth's room at an apartment building in the Rattanathibet area, found drug-related paraphernalia including a pill press, scales and mixing powder.

Mr Niyom said the youth admitted to having tried producing ecstasy pills himself, instead of ordering them from abroad.

He admitted he had been in the illegal business since 2016, importing 20,000-30,000 ecstasy pills a month and selling them to young people in clubs and pubs in Bangkok and nearby provinces.

The authorities had followed his movements for several days before making the arrest earlier this week, Mr Niyom said.

According to Mr Niyom, all ecstasy pills sold in Thailand are smuggled in from abroad. The smuggling rings are made up of mainly West Africans, as well as Russian and Chinese nationals, assisted by some Thais.

They ordered the drugs via websites, using bitcoin. The countries of origin were in Europe and the drugs sent by international parcel post.

So far this year, the authorities have arrested 22 suspects in 25 smuggling cases with a total of 263,312 ecstasy pills seized.

Most shipments came from Germany (15 cases), followed by the Netherlands and Portugal (3 each), France (2), and one each from Belgium and Slovenia, Mr Niyom said.

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