Thai police seizes $8.15 million worth methamphetamine pills and other drugs

Police officers examine seized drugs worth $8.15 million USD during a news conference at the Patrol and Special Operation Division in Bangkok, Thailand September 28, 2023. REUTERS/Artorn Pookasook

BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thai police seized more than 15 million methamphetamine pills and other illegal substances worth 300 million baht ($8.15 million) in what authorities said on Thursday was one of the largest drug hauls so far this year.

Four people were arrested in connection with the bust, which include 420 kilograms (926 lb) of crystal methamphetamine as well as heroin at a home in Nakhon Pathom province, north of the capital Bangkok.

"This is one of the largest drug storage facilities in the middle of Thailand, in a community area," Justice Minister Tawee Sodsong told reporters.

Incoming police chief Police General Torsak Sukvimol said the overall street value of the bust was 300 million baht, adding that the drugs were produced in a neighbouring country.

Trafficking of synthetic drugs in East and Southeast Asia is surging, the United Nations said in a report earlier this year, with high volumes of methamphetamine still being produced from the Golden Triangle region where the borders of Myanmar, Thailand and Laos meet.

The region 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.

($1 = 36.7900 baht)

(Reporting by Artorn Pookasook and Panu Wongcha-um and Miral Fahmy)

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