Another Massive Drugs Bust in Thailand – Police Seize One Million Pills
Above Photo: Ya-Ba seized from Burmese drug mules in Thailand (Reuters)
For a modern-day take on the Vietnam War and modern-day hangovers from it, such as border lawlesness and drug smuggling, as dealt with in BACK see: http://peteralanlloyd.com/back-part-2/backpackers-meet-the-vietnam-war-back-screenplay-finally-finished/
My backpacker novel, BACK, has a modern-day jungle drugs plot running through it, so I’m always interested in massive regional drug busts.
Thai police have seized 980,000 methamphetamine pills worth almost US$ six million in street value, stashed in a truck thought to be heading to Bangkok from northern Thailand.
Acting on a tip-off, narcotics police and local military officials set up roadblocks in Chiang Rai province, and found packs of the drug, similar to crystal meth and known locally as ya ba, hidden in the roof of a pick-up truck.
“It is quite a big haul – another big haul – almost a million tablets,” said deputy provincial police chief Virat Sumanaphan.
Three men and a woman, all from neighbouring Chiang Mai province, were arrested on suspicion of drug smuggling.
The frontier Golden Triangle region, where the remote edges of Thailand, Myanmar and Laos meet, has long been a drug trafficking hub, with surging methamphetamine smuggling now adding to the traditional illicit opium trade.
It is estimated that at least 1.4 billion ya ba tablets – with an estimated street value of US$8.5 billion (Bt265 billion) – are being produced each year in the region, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.
The drug is mostly made in isolated mobile laboratories hidden in the forests of Shan state in Myanmar, which is also still the second-largest global source of opium after Afghanistan.
Drug production in Burma is basically out of control, and the smugglers bring their consignments into Thailand and neighbouring countries in packages of millions of pills, so no matter how many are stopped, many more get through, and the street value remains stable.
Countries in the region are traditionally shy of demanding other countries get their houses in order, for fear of being asked to do the same, but the scale of drug production in Burma is now beginning to worry neighbouring countries, and China is shaping up as the regional tough guy on drugs, so watch this space…
For a modern-day take on the Vietnam War, POWs/MIAs and Adventure Backpackers trekking into the war-ravaged jungles of Asia, see: http://peteralanlloyd.com/back-part-2/backpackers-meet-the-vietnam-war-back-screenplay-finally-finished/
For POWs left behind in Laos, see also:
© Peter Alan Lloyd
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