Thai cop held for drug trafficking

BANGKOK: A Thai police officer who was once an anti-narcotics agent was arrested yesterday after almost 40,000 methamphetamine tablets were found in his apartment here. 

The apartment was raided after a major suspected drug dealer told police he regularly bought drugs from the officer, said police Col Wallop Pratummuang. 

The raid, which uncovered 38,400 methamphetamine tablets hidden under a bed, in a closet and in the ceiling, came two weeks after the end of a three-month government blitz on the drug trade, spearheading a drive to rid the country of illegal drugs by the end of the year. 

Wallop said police received complaints that the officer had been dealing in drugs for some time. They did not believe the allegations because he never showed any suspicious behaviour. He was transferred from the anti-narcotics wing to regular duties in a routine move. 

The officer had not yet been charged. If found guilty of drug trafficking, he could face the death penalty. 

Methamphetamine trafficking and abuse has become so widespread in the past few years that it is considered a threat to national security. 

The three-month crackdown netted more than 12 million methamphetamine pills, along with assets worth over 1.2 billion baht (RM108mil) seized from suspected traffickers.  

More than 81,000 suspected dealers and drug makers surrendered or were arrested, the Interior Ministry said. 

The homicide rate also shot up to about twice the normal average, which police attributed to efforts by drug dealers to eliminate people who could provide evidence against them. 

Human rights groups said they suspected many of the killings were summary executions by security forces. The government denied it. – AP  

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