Thailand and Myanmar coordinated efforts in suppressing key drug pushers.

News / View / ASOD Working Groups

Monday 11th of June 2018

Thailand and Myanmar coordinated efforts in suppressing key drug pushers.

          On Sunday 10 June 2018 at 10.30 hrs. Mr. Sirinya Sitdhichai, Secretary-General, Narcotics Control Board together with Police Narcotics Suppression Bureau, Customs Department, Narcotics Control Command Centre and Armed Forces Security Centre, Royal Thai Armed Forces Headquarters had a press release on the arrest of Thai fugitives and the seizure of Sodium Cyanide in Myanmar at the ONCB’s Command Centre.

          The policy of the Royal Thai Government gives priority to the drug control cooperation with Myanmar, especially, in the target areas of the Thailand-Myanmar border. Earlier On 21 May 2561, Air Chief Marshal Prajin Juntong, Deputy Prime Minister cum Minister of Justice and Thai delegation also paid a visit and had a policy discussion with Lieutenant General Kyaw Swe, Minister of Home Affairs, Myanmar in Nay Pyi Taw to tighten Thailand-Myanmar drug control cooperation.

           On 31 May 2018, the Central Committee for Drug Abuse Control (CCDAC) Tachileik unit made arrest Mr.Charoen Kiatpornpanich, a Thai fugitive from the Criminal Court’s arrest warrant no. 10/2017 dated 13 January 2017. The arrest made was extended from the case dated 12 December 2014 that ONCB in cooperation with Department of Special Investigation (DSI) had arrested Mr. Yuth Chankaew and 3 accomplices with the exhibit of 20 kilograms of ICE and seized their properties at the value of about 10 million Baht. Three accomplices, namely, Mr. Narin Chanbamroon, Mr. Narit Wacharinun and Mr. Sam Thongngern charged on the offence of conspiracy later were arrested and more of their properties were seized totally worth around 35 million Baht. Based on the inquiry of these offenders, Mr. Charoen or Wai or Kor Kiatpornpanich was identified as a member in the same syndicate and responsible for storing and distributing drugs to customers. As a result, the arrest warrant of Mr. Charoen was issued. Intelligence of ONCB suggests that Mr. Chareon fled to Thachileik, Myanmar. ONCB made a request to CCDAC that led to the arrest of Mr.Charoen by Myanmar together with the exhibit of cash (Thai banknotes) at the amount of 4.2 million Baht, cash (Myanmar banknotes) at 8.445 million Kyat, and 380 grams of gold ornament, a Toyata Alpard car, totally equivalent to 8 million Baht at Tachileik, Myanmar.

          Later on 6-8 June 2018, ONCB and combined forces of concerned agencies made search and seizure of Mr.Charoen’s properties, including, 3 vehicles, 8 motorcycles, 2 land title deeds, gold, cash, bankbooks, luxurious handbags and precious ornaments (at the value of 12 million Baht). The total value of properties seized was equivalent to 20 million Baht.

          On 2 June 2018, 300 barrels of Sodium Cyanide tantamount to 15 tons of weight was seized along with a carrying truck in Tachileik, Myanmar by CCDAC Tachileik unit. The importer gave a testimony that the chemical was imported for use in gold mining. The seizure resulted from the lead information received from Chieng Saen Customs earlier in May 20108 that there was a request for permission to export Sodium Cyanide from Thailand to Myanmar across Mekong River. The Customs had rejected the request based on the provision of the Agreement on the Commercial Navigation in Lancang-Mekong River defining Sodium Cyanide as hazardous substance and prohibiting the transportation of such chemical via Mekong River. The export company stored the chemical at its warehouse in Chiangsaen District, Chiang Rai Province.

           Later on 2 June 2018, the said Sodium Cyanide with import-export license issued by Department of Industrial Works was successfully exported on land route to Tachileik, Myanmar through Mae Sai Customs Checkpoint. ONCB made a request to CCDAC Tachileik unit to proof the consignment. CCDAC found no license to import the chemical to Myanmar and then made seizure on the suspicious ground of being used for illicit drug production. Sodium Cyanide is ascribed as hazardous substance in Category III according to the Hazardous Substance Act, 1992 and under the supervision of Department of Industrial Works. Production, import, export or possession of such chemical require license issued by Department of Industrial Works. Moreover, according to the Order of the National Council for Peace and Order no. 32/2016, Sodium Cyanide is enlisted as substance in the list no.2, item 6 that requires special surveillance. The cooperation between ONCB and all concerned security agencies both in Thailand and Myanmar in closely monitoring the import and export of such chemical greatly contributed to the success in the seizure of such chemical in Tachileik, Myanmar.