ASEAN drug coordination office opens in Bangkok

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BANGKOK, Sept 15 — A drug suppression and prevention coordination centre for the 10-member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is now opened in Bangkok.

Located on the fourth floor of the Office of the Narcotics Control Board (ONCB), the ASEAN Narcotics Cooperation Centre (ANCC) is opened as senior officers of ASEAN plus three dialogue partners including China, Japan and South Korea attended a meeting, chaired by Justice Minister Gen Paiboon Khumchaya.

Gen Paiboon said the Narcotics Centre would help the faster exchange of information among ASEAN members.

The planned launching of the ASEAN Community (AC), scheduled at the end-2015, requires ASEAN members to help map measures to prevent drug trafficking.

The drug situation in Thailand is the worst among ASEAN members, as the country is considered the main transit channel, said Gen Paiboon. Prime Minister Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha will visit Myanmar soon and confer with high ranking officials there on ways to jointly combat narcotics problems.

“To solve drug problem effectively, every ASEAN member must join hands in controlling it,” said Gen Paiboon.

Permpong Chavalit, secretary-general of the Office of the Narcotics Control Board, said the drug problem in Thailand became more severe last year and would worsen after the launching of  the ASEAN Community.

Anti-drug officials will have to work harder, he said. A joint strategy among ASEAN is needed to make the region free of drugs”, he added.