The Office of the Narcotics Control Board (ONCB) is working closer with its counterparts in Laos to suppress drug smuggling along the shared border and to track down 48 suspects in the neighbouring country, a source said yesterday.
Pol Lt Gen Panurat Lakboon, assistant national police chief and acting secretary-general of the ONCB, met Public Security Minister Maj Gen Khamking Phuilamanyvong and the Lao police chief on Wednesday to discuss bilateral cooperation on drug suppression and to track down Thai drug suspects who remain at large in Laos, the source said.
Pol Lt Gen Panurat conveyed his thanks to Laos for its collaboration in intercepting illicit drugs before they are smuggled into Thailand through exchanges of information and by beefing up checks of courier parcels, the source added.
So far this year, Thailand has intercepted 4.8 million meth pills from smugglers which has led to the arrest of five suspects.
An investigation is underway to track down the ring leader, with cooperation from Laos to target the 48 suspects who remain at large there.
Thailand will support Laos in terms of providing the information, tools and technology needed to help locate the 48 suspects and smash the drug network, he said.
Maj Gen Khamking thanked Thailand for helping to crack down on the illicit drugs trade.
The two sides will keep working together to reduce the severity of drug smuggling in certain areas, he added.
Pol Lt Gen Panurat also referred to a bilateral meeting on border drug smuggling in Krabi that took place from Sept 25-27, saying both sides have planned to step up measures to suppress the flow of cross-border narcotics drugs. Laos has also listed the fight against illicit drugs as a national agenda.
Pol Lt Gen Panurat said the government is trying to alleviate drug-related issues affecting people, the source said.