Thailand, Myanmar seal narcotics suppression pact

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BANGKOK, Nov 3 — Thailand and Myanmar have reached an agreement on narcotics suppression in border areas, especially in the Golden Triangle.

The agreement was made during the visit of Justice Minister Paiboon Koomchaya and Permpong Chavalit, secretary-general of the Narcotics Control Board, to Myanmar on Friday.

The Office of the Narcotics Control Board reported that the justice minister’s delegation met Myanmar’s Minister of Home Affairs Lt Gen Koko, Minister of the President’s Office U Aung Min, and Minister of Border Affairs Pol Lt Gen Thet Naing Win.

Both sides agreed to cooperate on narcotics suppression. Myanmar reported that it arrested a large number of traffickers and seized a significant amount of drugs in border areas.

They also agreed to help each other arrest suspects fleeing to each other’s soil. Thailand informed Myanmar of specific border areas needing serious attention.

In addition, Thailand and Myanmar emphasized the Safe Mekong Project as drug smuggling is active in the Mekong River region and concerns Thailand, China, Laos and Myanmar.

Authorities of the four countries will launch joint narcotic suppression there in the near future. Thailand is ready to provide Myanmar with equipment and vehicles to help expand its narcotics suppression activities in the Golden Triangle.

Myanmar asked Thailand to expand areas under the Alternative Development Project that the Office of the Narcotics Control Board and the Mae Fah Luang Foundation implement to improve the living conditions of Myanmar people living in border areas to cut narcotics production.

The project is set for six years of implementation, from 2013 to 2018. Thailand accepted the request and the parties will set up a working group to work out details for the expansion.