Koh Samui launched Narcotics unit
The Office of the Narcotics Control Board (ONCB) has launched a narcotics suppression unit at Samui International Airport as part of measures to crack down on transnational drug trafficking at airports nationwide.
ONCB secretary-general Sirinya Sitdhichai said the unit would be stationed at the airport to target narcotic rings smuggling drugs through the airport back and forth between Thailand and foreign countries. He said the office has worked closely with local relevant agencies to boost drug suppression capabilities before the launch of the anti-drug unit.
According to an ONCB report, cocaine is the most sought after drug by foreign tourists on the resort island. The drugs are smuggled in mostly by Thai and foreign passengers who travel from countries in South America. Other drugs in the report included crystal meth and marijuana. Mr Sirinya was speaking during the launch of the anti-drug trafficking unit at the airport on Koh Samui. The unit was set up to work with local immigration police and customs officials in trying to suppress narcotics trafficking through airports across the country.
Local law enforcement officials that included Pol Maj Gen Teerapol Kuptanon, deputy chief of the Provincial Police Region 8 in charge of Surat Thani and its neighbouring provinces, as well as Pol Col Wanchana Bawornboon, chief of the Surat Thani-based Immigration Office attended the launch. Mr Sirinya said much of the drugs sold on Koh Samui are probably ordered from drug dealers in Bangkok. Larger amounts of narcotics end up on the island during monthly festivals on Samui and Koh Phangan. He said drug traffickers evade detection by flying to Samui airport instead of Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang airports. According to ONCB figures, a total of 14 drug traffickers were apprehended at Samui airport between 2013 and this year.
They were six Thais, two Indians and smugglers from Russia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Nigeria, Vietnam and Italy. Authorities also impounded about 25.8 kilogrammes of cocaine, 22.2kg of crystal meth and 5kg of marijuana resin. Source: Bangkok Post