Drug factories crank up output as tip-rewards cut

Drug factories crank up output as tip-rewards cut

Here’s the drill: The Mekong Riverine Unit holds a patrol drill along the Mekong River, a natural borderline, in Nong Khai yesterday. The unit practises a patrol manoeuvring formation as it navigates along one of the river’s lanes for boat traffic. (Photo by Nutthawat Wicheanbut)
Here’s the drill: The Mekong Riverine Unit holds a patrol drill along the Mekong River, a natural borderline, in Nong Khai yesterday. The unit practises a patrol manoeuvring formation as it navigates along one of the river’s lanes for boat traffic. (Photo by Nutthawat Wicheanbut)

Methamphetamine producers have increased their production after cutting costs, says Justice Minister Somsak Thepsutin.

The minister yesterday instructed the Office of the Narcotics Control Board to urgently tackle the problem, following reports that drug producers plan to substantially increase daily production capacity.

Using a hydraulic system, drug producers can now produce as many as 6,912,000 methamphetamine pills each day with the cost of production as low was 0.5–0.6 baht per pill. Drug producers used to produce 432,000 pills per day with a rotary system. Meanwhile, the cost of production of crystal methamphetamine, or ice, has dropped from 50,000 baht/kg to 26,000 baht/kg.

The increase in production has persuaded the ministry to cut the reward it offers for information leading to arrests from 2 baht/pill to 0.50 baht/pill for methamphetamine and 200 baht/kg to 50 baht/kg for ice. However, the ministry was considering giving officers in drug cases a higher share of the sales of confiscated assets as an incentive, Mr Somsak said.

The minister pledged to step up measures to prevent the smuggling drugs into the kingdom with a focus on the laundering of drug money can be transformed into legal products and digital money like Bitcoin.

In Phuket, border patrol police yesterday arrested a dealer and confiscated over 60 grammes of ice. The suspect was nabbed on a footpath on Phatthana Road in Muang district. Two digital scales, a gun and bullets were confiscated from his house.


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