PM presides at burning of 4 tonnes of illegal drugs

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BANGKOK, June 29 – Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on Friday presided over the incineration of four tonnes of seized drugs as a part of the government’s national agenda war against drugs.

Twelve types of illegal drugs were confiscated in 1,033 cases, with a street value of Bt6.9 billion, were burnt today as the premier inaugurated the incineration.

The burning was also witnessed by Public Health Minister Witthaya Buranasiri, permanent-secretary for Health Paichit Warachit, foreign diplomats and media at Bang Pa-In Industrial Estate in Ayutthaya province.

The seized drugs were earlier kept by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), including about 21 million methamphetamine pills, 148 kg of crystal methamphetamine or “ice’, 58 kg of heroin.

The burning process was done by pyrolytic incineration at the temperature of more than 850 degrees Celsius. The drugs were burnt into carbon powder without polluting the environment, and the remaining powder cannot be used in producing any narcotic.

Health Minister Witthaya said the Yingluck administration has set drug elimination as a national agenda priority and established the National Center of Illicit Drugs Prevention and Suppression to urgently push ahead the government’s mission.

Mr Witthaya said the government targeted at least 400,000 of an estimated two million drug addicts should be rehabilitated this year.

From last October to June 25, this year, the minister reported, 352,503 drug addicts, or 88 per cent of the target, received rehabilitation treatment in 1,287 hospitals and health stations across the country.

The minister however said another 24 tonnes of seized drugs, worth Bt72 million, cannot be destroyed yet due to pending cases in the courts.

After the ruling of the court, Mr Witthaya said, the FDA will seek permission to burn them.