ONCB Thailand warns about new marketing strategy of drug traffickers in releasing over supply stocks

News / View / ASEAN Information

Wednesday 13th of December 2017

ONCB Thailand warns about new marketing strategy of drug traffickers in releasing over supply stocks

              An alarming sign of drug situation has been noted from a series of arrest in November 2017 and demands more intensive detection. According to Mr.Sirinya Sitdhichai, Secretary-General, NCB Thailand, in November 2017 there were 5 ya ba cases with 1,000,000 tablets up each. The case with highest number of seized drug was an arrest in Bang Phli District of Samut Prakarn, a province adjacent to Bangkok, with 10,310,000 ya ba tablets. This was a storage place before delivering the drugs to buyers in the central part of Thailand, Bangkok Metropolitan, and adjacent areas. There were two other arrests in northern border provinces. One case was the seizure of 1,000,000 ya ba tablets on the way to buyers in Bangkok Metropolitan and adjacent areas. The most recent arrest in November was on the 28th in Nan province with 2,800,000 ya ba tablets. There was one case in Nakhon Phanom, a northeastern border province with Lao PDR, with 4,600,000 ya ba tablets. These drugs were smuggled across Mekong River to Tha U-Thane District of Nakhon Phanom Province. In short, in November 2017 Thai authorities seized totally 22,210,000 tablets of ya ba from 5 drug cases with the minimum of 1,000,000 tablets each within Thailand whereas in October 2017, there were only 2 cases of 1,000,000 ya ba tablets up totaling 3,487,200 tablets. Seizures of big lots of ya ba on one hand can be considered a success of the interception, a drug control strategy which has always been prioritized, on the other hand, it was a result of the stronger detection of drug trafficking inland to stop the epidemic by barring the distribution of drugs to abusers in villages and communities. In November 2017, there were several seizures at this level, e.g.

             - 2 November, a case of 896,000 ya ba tablets together with 43.244 kg. of ICE in Prawet District of Bangkok. These drugs were being transported from a storage place in Ayutthaya and Nonthaburi Province to buyers in Bangkok and adjacent areas.

              - 4 November, a case of 140,000 ya ba tablets found left under a tree in an alley not far from a community in Bang Khen district of Bangkok.

             - 14 November, a case of 850,000 yaba tablets found left under a tree in a community in Phra Pradaeng district of Samut Prakarn Province.

             - 19 November, seized 3,500,000 ya ba tablets, ICE 221.24 kg. and ketamine 50 kg. in Phayuhakiri District of Nakhon Sawan. These drugs were smuggled in from the North and to be transported to buyers in the central part of Thailand and adjacent areas of Bangkok.

              - 28 November, an arrest of couriers with 2,800,000 ya ba tablets in Nan Province in the North. This lot of drug was smuggled in through a district of Tak, a border province with Myanmar and to be delivered to buyers in Ayutthaya Province.

              In addition, there were 2 cases of interception the smuggling out through the southern border. In one case 198,000 ya ba tablets were seized while 200,000 ya ba tablets and 81 kg. of ICE were seized in the other case.

             The arrests and seizures of ya ba tablets in November 2017 have led to the following conclusions;

              1. Drug syndicates have not reduced the production or drugs trafficking into Thailand despite the domestic demand for drugs, ya ba in particular, has not increased. For this reason, the price of ya ba and ICE in most part of the country has dropped by up to three folds in the past two years.

              2. To solve the over supply problem, drug dealers have not only reduced the price but also stocked the drugs closer to make it more accessible to consumers. Therefore, the Royal Thai Government has also intensified the detection and checking along the known trafficking routes inside the country as well as empowering village/community security teams to guard their villages and communities against drugs.

               3. Law enforcement officers have discovered more frequently than before, storage or transit places of drugs in provinces where there are communities of workers in various industries, for example, in Ayutthaya, Nonthaburi, and Samut Prakarn.

               4. It was also found that drug syndicates have increasingly used social media as their means of communication, from making friends and recruiting new couriers through computer games, directing, making appointments for drugs distribution and wages collection via chat lines and facebook accounts. These means of communication are more difficult to detect and extend the investigation.

                5. Ketamine was also found to be produced in the Golden Triangle in addition to heroin, ya ba and ICE.

                Due to the oversupply phenomenon of drugs, particulary, ya ba, more frequent drug cases with 1,000,000 ya ba tablets up in each case are not only an obvious sign of the effort of production groups and drug traffickers in the Golden Triangle to decrease the oversupply of illicit drugs, but might also signaling that drug syndicates are taking the opportunity of festive season to accelerate the distribution of drugs along with the massive travelers and tourists which make it rather difficult for law enforcement officers to conduct thorough checks. Since ya ba and ICE are widely spread in many ASEAN Member States, Mr. Sirinya Sitdhichai, Secretary-General of ONCB Thailand together with ASEAN-NARCO express deep concern and share the information as a warning message to all ASEAN Member States. In this regard, drug intelligence and close monitoring of illegal drug activities are highly recommended.