Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Thailand tracking drug-smuggling rings after Oz, South Korea busts



Thailand tracking drug-smuggling rings after Oz, South Korea busts

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Thai justice minister Somsak Thepsuthin (front) tells a press conference that his ministry has joined hands with foreign agencies in a bid to crack international criminal rings smuggling drugs from Thailand to foreign markets, on Monday. OFFICE OF THE NARCOTICS CONTROL BOARD

Thailand tracking drug-smuggling rings after Oz, South Korea busts

The Thai justice ministry has joined hands with foreign agencies in a bid to crack international criminal rings smuggling drugs from Thailand to foreign markets, minister Somsak Thepsuthin said on June 7.

The move comes after Australian and South Korean authorities recently intercepted large shipments of drugs from Thailand.

“Australian police submitted information on 316kg of crystal meth found on a cargo ship from Thailand on May 8 in Sydney, which enabled us to track down the suspects behind the smuggling operation,” said Somsak. “We now know that the drugs were sent from Mukdahan to the South of Thailand before being shipped overseas in electrical appliance boxes.”

He added that Thai authorities are also cooperating with South Korean police after a Thai smuggler was found with over 4kg of methamphetamine at Incheon Airport in Seoul earlier this month. Further investigation revealed this shipment was heading for “phi noi” or little ghosts – Thai illegal migrants.

Phi Noi refers to Thais who enter a foreign country, often as tourists, but stay there to work once their visas expire.

“We also found that these buyers are using new methods to order drugs such as mobile applications, online delivery and private couriers, as well as paying with bitcoin, which makes it harder for officials to track them down,” added Somsak.

“This prompted the ministry to work closely with foreign agencies to stay ahead of the drug dealers.”

The minister pointed out that Thailand is a prime target for drug syndicates because it hosts the Golden Triangle along with convenient transportation routes by air, sea and land.

The Golden Triangle, covering the mountainous borderland of Thailand, Laos and Myanmar, is thought to be one of the world’s largest producers of methamphetamine and opium.

“Since 2019, we have seized an increasing amount of drugs in Thailand – significantly higher than the amount that slipped through and reached destination countries such as Australia, Japan, Taiwan and Hong Kong,” the justice minister said.

Heroin and methamphetamine account for most of the drugs seized, he added.

THE NATION (THAILAND)/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

MOST VIEWED

  • Hong Kong firm done buying Coke Cambodia

    Swire Coca-Cola Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed Swire Pacific Ltd, on November 25 announced that it had completed the acquisition of The Coca-Cola Co’s bottling business in Cambodia, as part of its ambitions to expand into the Southeast Asian market. Swire Coca-Cola affirmed

  • Cambodia's Bokator now officially in World Heritage List

    UNESCO has officially inscribed Cambodia’s “Kun Lbokator”, commonly known as Bokator, on the World Heritage List, according to Minister of Culture and Fine Arts Phoeurng Sackona in her brief report to Prime Minister Hun Sen on the night of November 29. Her report, which was

  • NagaWorld union leader arrested at airport after Australia trip

    Chhim Sithar, head of the Labour Rights Supported Union of Khmer Employees at NagaWorld integrated casino resort, was arrested on November 26 at Phnom Penh International Airport and placed in pre-trial detention after returning from a 12-day trip to Australia. Phnom Penh Municipal Court Investigating Judge

  • Angkor Beer, 30 Years of Prestige and Still Counting

    Let’s celebrate 30 years of prestige with Angkor Beer. In this 2022, Angkor Beer is 30 years old and has been staying with Cambodian hearts in all circumstances. Head of core beer portfolio, EmYuthousaid, “We have been with Cambodians for three decades now. We, ANGKOR Beer, pride

  • Sub-Decree approves $30M for mine clearance

    The Cambodian government established the ‘Mine-Free Cambodia 2025 Foundation’, and released an initial budget of $30 million. Based on the progress of the foundation in 2023, 2024 and 2025, more funds will be added from the national budget and other sources. In a sub-decree signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen

  • Two senior GDP officials defect to CPP

    Two senior officials of the Grassroots Democratic Party (GDP) have asked to join the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), after apparently failing to forge a political alliance in the run-up to the 2023 general election. Yang Saing Koma, chairman of the GDP board, and Lek Sothear,