BANGKOK (AP) — Regulation enforcement officers in Thailand stated Monday they seized greater than a ton of crystal methamphetamine in a southern province final week that they believed was certain for Australia.
Officers from police and the Narcotics Management Board introduced that the 1.2 metric tons (2,646 kilos) of the drug, also referred to as “ice,” doubtless got here from Thailand’s northern border area, which is a part of the Golden Triangle the place the borders of Myanmar, Laos and Thailand meet.
Myanmar is a significant producer of methamphetamine, which over the previous decade has change into the dominant unlawful drug in Southeast Asia for each home consumption and export, supplanting opium and its refined product, heroin. A long time of political instability have made Myanmar’s frontier areas largely lawless and exploited by drug producers and traffickers.
The U.N. Workplace on Medicine and Crime warned in a report in Might final yr that the manufacturing and trafficking of artificial medicine akin to methamphetamine is burgeoning within the area. It stated the variety of methamphetamine tablets seized in East and Southeast Asia exceeded a billion for the primary time in 2021.
The methamphetamine seized final Wednesday in Songkhla province was disguised as packages of tea. Officers introduced at a information convention that the three suspects believed to be transporting the drug had escaped. making it arduous to know the traffickers’ plans.
Wichai Chaimongkol, the secretary normal of the Narcotics Management Board, stated the authorities had hoped to trace the medicine to their vacation spot in Australia with a view to arrest higher-ranking members of the trafficking gang, however the three suspected smugglers in Songkhla grew to become conscious that they have been being watched.
Thai officers consider the medicine, hidden in a home and two pickup vehicles, have been to be smuggled to Australia by sea, stated Wichai.
Medicine that have been seized in current raids, together with in Bangkok in March and April, additionally have been supposedly certain for Australia.
Australian police stated in 2019 that they seized 1.6 metric tons of meth on the Melbourne waterfront that was hidden in stereo audio system shipped from Bangkok. In November final yr, the Thai narcotics officers stated that within the fiscal yr ending September 2022, they’d intercepted medicine certain for Australia 22 occasions disguised in numerous kinds, one among which concerned pillow circumstances that have been coated with methamphetamine.
Final yr’s U.N. report famous that the 1.008 billion meth tablets seized in 2021 was seven occasions increased than the quantity seized 10 years earlier. It warned that elevated manufacturing makes the drug cheaper and extra accessible, creating higher threat to individuals and their communities.