BANKOK: The Justice minister commented’’ Office of the Narcotics Control Board (ONCB) admitted that Thailand is the heart of the drugs trade in Asean, Gen Paiboon Koomchaya described Thailand as the regional “hub” for the drugs trade, he said in a speech .
Permpong Chaowalit, secretary-general of the ONCB, confirmed that Thailand is currently the centre of narcotics smuggling from neighbouring countries, due to the geography along the northern border, which provides good drug transit routes for meth, heroin, marijuana and amphetamines.
Thailand is a major destination for amphetamine, due to a large number of addicts here. The country is also used as a transit point for meth, heroine and marijuana, Mr Permpong said.
Precursor chemicals from China and India are usually delivered to Myanmar, which is a major drug-producing country, he said, adding that 80% of drugs there are produced by ethnic groups including the Wa, Muzer and Kokang.
He said a joint team of the Pha Muang Force, ONCB, Border Patrol Police and police had raided Ban Pong Nok in Chiang Rai’s Wiang Pa Pao district. They found between 200 and 300 households were involved. in drug smuggling. The village had also been turned into a drugs transit point.
Mr Permpong said drug prices along the border vary wildly. Some dealers set steep prices for amphetamine, charging up to 300 baht per tablet instead of 7 or 8 baht.