Huge drug seizures, arrests having no effect on drug trade

Huge drug seizures, arrests having no effect on drug trade

Soldiers and paramilitary rangers with 908 kilogrammes of compressed marijuana seized in Bung Khla district, Bung Kan, late last month. (Photo supplied)
Soldiers and paramilitary rangers with 908 kilogrammes of compressed marijuana seized in Bung Khla district, Bung Kan, late last month. (Photo supplied)

Drug suppression authorities arrested about 330,000 suspects, smashed 4,925 drug networks and seized 6.5 billion baht's worth of drug-related assets in the fiscal year just ended, according to official figures.

Security agencies had also seized about 557 million methamphetamine pills, 26,867 kilogrammes of crystal methamphetamine, or ice, 4,521kg of heroin, 46.50kg cocaine, 2,552kg of ketamine and 437,027 ecstasy pills, Gen Kongcheep Tantrawanich, spokesman for Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon, said on Tuesday.

Despite the arrests and huge seizures, the drug problem continued unabated, he said.

Gen Prawit, who is in charge of security affairs, had therefore instructed all agencies involved to step up the fight against the spread of drugs, he said. 

He said the conflict in Myanmar and fighting among ethnic groups along the border with Thailand had spurred the production of drugs and their smuggling into Thailand, particularly through the North and Northeast regions.

At the same time, demand for drugs in Thailand and other countries remained high during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Gen Prawit had ordered local administrations to step up drug prevention efforts and work to develop a strong immunity against the lure of drugs in communities and among high-risk groups, particulary children and young adults, in all districts and provinces across the country.

The military, police and anti-drug agencies had been instructed to continue closely  monitoring the border and nearby areas for smuggling routes, and online communications between dealers and customers and their use of private delivery services.

Gen Prawit had also ordered enforcement of laws to detect financial transaction routes, money laundering and tax evasion to curb the trade in drugs, Gen Kongcheep said.

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