Monday, August 1, 2016

Thailand - Thais to back ‘Golden Triangle siege’

Myanmar strategy to curb production of drug in region.

JUSTICE Minister General Paiboon Koomchaya yesterday discussed the "Golden Triangle Siege" strategy with Myanmar authorities, which includes trying to prevent more than 3,000 tonnes of narcotic ingredients pouring into drug-manufacturing bases in the area each year and measures to stop the smuggling of illicit drugs to other countries.

Paiboon also led Thai delegates in Nay Pyi Taw to meet with Myanmar's Minister of Home Affairs Lt General Kyaw Swe, Minister of Border Affairs Lt Gen Ye Aung and Health Minister Dr Myint Htwe to discuss progress of the third phase of the "Safe Mekong" for 2016-2018.

Paiboon said the key point of talks was the "Golden Triangle Siege" plan, which will see Thailand providing support for drug suppression units in Myanmar for a three-year period.

It will include drug investigations, interception operations and human resource development, plus work to develop villages along the border of |the two countries to try to improve |people's life quality and options.

"We also informed the Myanmar Health Minister that Thailand was ready to provide academic support for drug rehabilitation treatment, personnel training, plus some budget for the border villages' development project as per guideline of the UN General Assembly Special Sessions (UNGASS) on drugs. The Myanmar authorities said they were ready to cooperate," Paiboon told reporters after the meeting.

Sirinya Sithichai, secretary-general of the Office of the Narcotics Control Board (ONCB), said Thailand had been cooperating with Myanmar on the "Safe Mekong" project since 2013. He said the project was now entering its third phase and involved six countries - China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam.

He said the Golden Triangle was one of the world's major areas for making narcotics. It was estimated that each year drug manufacturers there imported over 3,000 tonnes of narcotic |substances to produce drugs.

In related news, the ONCB held a press conference in Bangkok yesterday to announce results of three separate busts on Wednesday that saw police nab seven suspects and seize 574,800 'yaba' pills and 16 kilograms of crystal meth or "ice" worth Bt86 million.

In the first case, former drug convict and motorcycle taxi-man Chokchai Rungsaengpho, 35, was arrested in Samut Prakan's Phra Samut Chedi district on Wednesday with 15.95 kg of 'ice' and 288,800 pills, plus tools to make pills. He initially confessed to dealing and police hope to arrest his accomplices soon.

In the second case, wanted man Nirut Jermsri, 29, plus two women aged 29 and 61, alleged to be accomplices, were arrested with 0.49 gram of "ice", a pistol and six bullets at a house in Bang Sue in Bangkok. In the third case, three suspects - Khaneung Yutthahan, 36, Prasit Ketniam, 23, and Supakorn Khotprathum, 19, were arrested with 286,000 pills at a gas station in Sam Khok in Pathum Thani. The three reportedly confessed to transporting drugs from a Nakhon Phanom border area to the South for a second time.

Piyanuch Tamnukasetchai, Khanathit Srihirandej

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