Police seize drug assets

Police seize drug assets

Drug suppression agencies recently confiscated 258 million baht of drug assets, according to government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana, ahead of the newly amended anti-narcotics law coming into effect.

Drug suppression agencies managed to confiscate assets worth 258 million baht procured using drug money from Oct 1 to Nov 20, he said, adding last year, assets worth more than 7.3 million baht were confiscated from various gangs.

Mr Thanakorn said the newly amended drug suppression law will take effect on Dec 9, noting it will add teeth to drug suppression and act as a deterrent against narcotic crimes.

"It will make seizures more effective and break the entire drug supply chain," he said. "Apart from the [law's] heavy jail term, offenders will wind up in bankruptcy."

The new law aims to tighten cooperation between drug suppression agencies and financial institutions and commercial banks to track and freeze drug money-derived assets. It also gives the authorities retroactive power to confiscate such assets going back a maximum of 10 years.

Mr Thanakorn said how informants are rewarded has also been revised. Under the current version of the law, a 5% reward is given based on the total value of the confiscated drugs. The new law will allow the value of combined assets to also be included in the calculation, he said.

He said Thailand has joined countries in the sub-Mekong region in stemming the narcotics trade and trafficking networks. The kingdom has developed a system that enhances the efficiency of suppression efforts with assistance from China, the United States, Australia and South Korea, he said.

Responding to the opposition's demand for a swift crackdown on illicit drug syndicates, Mr Thanakorn said modern technology has made the production of drugs, such as methamphetamine pills, more efficient. Networks can churn out a million meth pills in one hour, he said.

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