Thai police seized more than 15 million methamphetamine pills and other illegal substances worth 300 million baht ($8.15m) in what authorities said was one of the largest drug hauls so far this year.
Four people were arrested on Thursday in connection with the bust, which included 420kg (926 pounds) of crystal methamphetamine, as well as heroin, at a home in Nakhon Pathom province, north of the capital Bangkok.
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“This is one of the largest drug storage facilities in the middle of Thailand, in a community area,” Justice Minister Tawee Sodsong told reporters.
Incoming police chief General Torsak Sukvimol said the overall street value of the bust was 300 million baht, adding that the drugs were produced in a neighbouring country.
The Golden Triangle
Trafficking of synthetic drugs in East and Southeast Asia is surging, the United Nations said in a report earlier this year, with high volumes of methamphetamine still being produced from the Golden Triangle region where the borders of Myanmar, Thailand and Laos meet.
The region has a long history of illicit drug production and has recently served as an enormous production centre for amphetamine-type stimulants, especially methamphetamine, used by Asian crime syndicates with distribution networks reaching as far as Japan and New Zealand.
Also on Thursday, Myanmar authorities said they had seized almost half a tonne of crystal meth worth more than $4m.
Security forces stopped a motorcycle and van in a forest in the northern Mandalay region during the early hours of Sunday, Myanmar’s Central Committee on Drug Abuse Control said in a statement.
“The search brought the seizure of 435 kg of crystal meth (ICE) with a local value of 8.7 billion kyats” ($4.14m) the statement said.
It said the drugs were being transported from Myanmar’s Shan state – Southeast Asia’s primary source of meth, according to the UN – and authorities were conducting further investigations.
Analysts have said that the military, which removed an elected government and seized power in 2021, is not serious about ending the lucrative trade.
Earlier this year, in a rare admission, the head of Myanmar’s CCDAC said its efforts to crush the multibillion-dollar trade were having no impact.