Thailand seizes nearly 900kg of crystal methamphetamine

BANGKOK (AGENCIES) – Thai authorities intercepted nearly 900 kilogrammes of crystal methamphetamine hidden in a cargo shipment at Bangkok’s Port Custom Office and bound for Taiwan where it could be sold for up to USD88 million, a customs official said on Saturday.

The drug was seized by customs officials late on Friday, hidden in powder form inside 161 white silicon slabs in packages destined for Taiwan.

“The 897 kilogrammes of crystal meth is worth about THB500 to THB600 million (USD15 million to USD18 million), but once they reach their destination they will be worth THB3 billion in market price,” Thai Customs Director-General Patchara Anuntasil told a press conference on Saturday.

The methamphetamine market has continued to expand and diversify in East and Southeast Asia, unaffected by the coronavirus pandemic.

In October, police in neighbouring Laos seized a record haul of 55 million methamphetamine tablets and over 1.5 tonnes of crystal methamphetamine tablets in the Golden Triangle region where the borders of Myanmar, Thailand and Laos meet.

The Golden Triangle has a long history of illicit drug production and has recently served as a massive production centre for amphetamine-type stimulants, especially methamphetamine, used by Asian crime syndicates with distribution networks reaching as far as Japan and New Zealand.

Thai authorities show result of a machine test for the seized crystal methamphetamine. PHOTO: CNA