Deputy Prime Minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwan has ordered a crackdown on narcotics, being smuggled in disguise within the online retailing and logistics networks during the pandemic.
Deputy Prime Minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwan has thanked the military, the police, administrative officials, and the Office of the Narcotics Control Board (ONCB) for their recent arrests related to narcotic cases in June and July; 36,568 people have been arrested for their involvement in drug dealing, leading to the confiscation of 87.8 methamphetamine pills, and 2.6 tons of crystal meth.
He expressed concern over the current situation, where drug pushers have found ways to evade the government’s strict border controls, by smuggling these items in logistics shipments, such as land cargo, sea cargo, and even disguised within parcels.
Gen Prawit has urged administrative officials, the military, the police, the ONCB, and related agencies to create a scenario on the probable effects of the economic crisis driven by the COVID-19 pandemic, on the rate of drug abuse and trading, leading to other social issues.
He has urged related agencies to draft a comprehensive plan to address the scenario, focusing on preventative measures covering all aspects, along with proactive measures to suppress the drug networks, targeting their manufacturing base and the ingredients.
The officials are also urged to be increasingly vigilant against the illegal drug trade via online platforms, as well as the rise of drug deliveries disguised as normal parcels within the logistics and postal network.
The Deputy Prime Minister asked these agencies to work with the Customs Department to tighten screening measures for exported goods, which could be used to hide drug distribution, following recent busts of narcotics exported from Thailand and later found in other countries.
Gen Prawit stressed that no government officials are involved with any of these cases, but acknowledged that these events do affect the country’s image.