An 18-year-old student at a private college in Nonthaburi province has been arrested in possession of 10,000 ecstasy pills sent to him by airmail from the Netherlands, Office of the Narcotics Control Board (ONCB) secretary-general Niyom Termsrisuk said on Wednesday.
Mr Niyom said the student ordered 35,000 ecstasy pills, paying in Bitcoin cryptocurrency, via the internet. He was arrested when the first shipment of 10,000 arrived.
The second shipment of 25,000 was on the way and would be seized when it arrived.
The ONCB chief said the student’s arrest and drug seizure were the result of cooperation with the Airport Interdiction Task Force (AITF), which had investigated and detected the deal.
A search of the youth’s room in an apartment building in Rattanathibet area, found drug-related equipment including a pill press, scales and mixing powder.
Mr Niyom said the youth admitted to having tried to produce ecstasy pills himself, instead of ordering them from abroad.
Most of the imported ecstasy pills were sold to young night revellers in Bangkok and nearby provinces.
The student admitted he had been in the illegal business since 2016, importing between 20,000-30,000 ecstasy pills a month. The authorities had tracked his movements from May 8-10 before making the arrest, Mr Niyom said.
According to Mr Niyom, all the ecstasy pills on sale in Thailand are smuggled from abroad. The smuggling rings are mainly west African, Russian and Chinese nationals and they are assisted by some Thai people.
They ordered the drugs via underground websites, using Bitcoin. The countries of origin were in Europe. The drugs were sent by international parcel post.
In the first half of 2020, the authorities arrested 22 suspects in 25 smuggling cases with a total of 263,312 ecstasy pills seized. Most of the smuggled shipments came from Germany (15 cases), followed by the Netherlands and Portugal (3 each), France (2), and one each from Belgium and Slovenia, Mr Niyom said.