PM: Drug war a national priority

PM: Drug war a national priority

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has declared drugs suppression to be an urgent national agenda item, said deputy government spokeswoman Rachada Dhanadirek.

The prime minister has ordered state workers to mobilise resources to support the government's war on drugs, she said.

As part of the policy, more money has been set aside for new equipment and technologies to be used in curbing drug trafficking, and at least three new laws are being pushed, she said.

Now before parliament, the three bills deal with adjustments to punishment for drug offences, regulations on assets seizures in drug cases and additional measures aimed at improving the efficiency of the government's drug suppression agencies.

From October last year until this month, 344 million tablets of methamphetamine, 20.6 tonnes of crystal methamphetamine, 2.7 tonnes of heroin and 279,868 tablets of ecstasy were seized in numerous crackdowns, she said.

In 84 more drug cases where drugs were seized before they could be shipped to other countries, 39,002 tablets of methamphetamine, 72.08kg of crystal methamphetamine, 285.69kg of heroin and 1,922 tablets of ecstasy were seized, she said.

In the first quarter of this year alone, well over 4.5 billion baht in assets linked to drugs cases have been confiscated, compared to only 3.4 billion baht in assets seized during the same period of last year, she said.

Meanwhile, 1.6kg of heroin hidden in nine books were intercepted at Suvarnabhumi airport while awaiting postal shipment to Australia on Saturday, said Wichai Chaimongkol, secretary-general of the Office of the Narcotics Control Board, yesterday.

Australian authorities have been notified about these parcels, which were found to have been sent by a person in Samut Prakan, he said. A total of 24.4kg crystal methamphetamine and 61.04kg of heroin hidden in post to Australia have been intercepted since last October in 19 different cases as the country emerges as a favoured drug export spot.

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