B1bn worth of drug assets seized

B1bn worth of drug assets seized

The Office of the Narcotics Control Board displays evidence seized from alleged drug traffickers running heroin from Myanmar to Malaysia, during a press briefing on Monday. (Photo: ONCB Facebook account)
The Office of the Narcotics Control Board displays evidence seized from alleged drug traffickers running heroin from Myanmar to Malaysia, during a press briefing on Monday. (Photo: ONCB Facebook account)

The Office of the Narcotics Control Board has seized assets worth about 1.066 billion baht in total from alleged members of a major drug network in the North, ONCB secretary-general Wichai Chaimongkol said on Monday.

Mr Wichai said the network trafficked heroin to Malaysia from a production plant in the Golden Triangle area of Myanmar.

He said there were three parts to the police operation, which began early this year. 

On Feb 3, Narcotics Suppression Bureau officers arrested two suspects with 100 kilogrammes of crystal methamphetamine, or ice, and 381 meth pills in their possession in Mae Sai district, Chiang Rai.

On Feb 18, ONCB officials and Region 5 police arrested three suspects and seized 100 slabs of heroin in Nan province. Authorities seized 34.9 million baht worth of drug-related assets.

Mr Wichai said an expanded investigation led to the third raid, on Monday morning. Authorities seized 37 million baht worth of assets. He did not say where. 

He said warrants were issued for the arrest of 10 other suspects, and five of them had been apprehended.

Authorities had seized a total of 1.066 billion baht worth of assets in the three operations, Mr Wichai said. He withheld a full breakdown of the assets seized and other details of the raids.

The investigation was continuing, to find the leaders of the drug network, the operators of the drug factory in Myanmar and the gang's agents in Malaysia, he said.

Mr Wichai said from October last year to July 5 this year, authorities had seized a total of 5.658 billion baht worth of assets believed to have been acquired via the trade in drugs -  about 341 million baht short of the 6 billion baht target.

More assets were expected to be seized before the end of September, the end of the  financial year, when the target was likely to be met, he added.

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