Thailand’s Meth Crisis

In 2016 Thailand’s Justice Minister Paiboon Koomchaya shocked the nation by stating that “the world has lost the war on drugs”. Fast forward to April 2018 and authorities in Thailand have seized the country’s largest crystal methamphetamine haul. The chief of the Narcotics Suppression Bureau, Lt. Gen. Sommai Kongvisaisuk told CNN that 788 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine was detained by the police and military in the Chiang Rai province.

Worth an estimated street value of $55 million, 10 million amphetamine pills were hidden inside teabags and fertilizer packets. With the serious drugs of abuse problem in Thailand continuing to grow, Jeremy Douglas from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime stated that they don’t see the problem ending and that the region must work together to counter the flow.

Between 2016 and 2017, crystal methamphetamine seized in Thailand increased by more than five times from 630 kilograms to 4,160 kilograms, according to the country’s Narcotics Suppression Bureau. Production of the drug in the Myanmar’s autonomous northern regions has resulted in large amounts of the cheap and high-quality product being sold in the surrounding region and further afield countries such as Australia and Japan.

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