Thai police seize $45m-worth of meth from convoy in Bangkok

2018-05-11 18:42
Police department chemists inspecting seized drugs during a press conference in Bangkok. (Romeo Gacad, AFP)

Police department chemists inspecting seized drugs during a press conference in Bangkok. (Romeo Gacad, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Ten million made-in-Myanmar "yaba" pills and nearly half a tonne of crystal meth hidden in tea packages have been pulled from a convoy of cars in Bangkok, Thai police said on Friday.

The drugs – worth around $45m on the local market – were being ferried along Thailand's "narcotics corridor", which cuts through the central Thai province of Ayutthaya to Bangkok and then south to Malaysia.

Police followed the four cars from Ayutthaya, which is a key warehousing site for the drugs which pour from Myanmar's meth labs.

They made the bust once the convoy had reached downtown Bangkok late on Thursday, police said, uncovering crystal meth concealed in Chinese-branded tea packages and the pill bundles.

"Six Thai suspects who were paid to transport drugs were arrested", national police chief General Chaktip Chaijinda told reporters, adding some of the drugs were "destined for foreign countries".

"They belong to the northern Wa group," he said, of an ethnic group based in Myanmar's Shan State which jointly oversees the world's second largest drug producing region.

'Crazy medicine'

Yaba – which means "crazy medicine" in Thai – are methamphetamine pills cut with caffeine and are consumed across Asia, popped by everyone from the party crowd to farmers and lorry drivers.

The notorious "Golden Triangle" – an ungovernable border zone that crosses Myanmar, Laos, Thailand and China – is experiencing a boom in drug production.

Massive oversupply from Myanmar has seen the price of a yaba tablet plummet to 100 baht (around $3) in Thailand.

The much more potent and addictive crystal meth version – "ice" – is also cascading across the region.

In Thailand, 1kg goes for around $30 000, but the price rises the further it is transported from the source in Myanmar.

Drugs are trafficked south to Malaysia and beyond, while record seizures are also being made along a westwards route from Myanmar to Bangladesh.

KEEP UPDATED on the latest news by subscribing to our FREE newsletter.

- FOLLOW News24 on Twitter

Read more on:    thailand

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Call Centre Consultants

Western Cape
Pro Placements Recruitment Agency
R4 500.00 - R5 000.00 Per Month

Spa Manager

Spencer Rogers Recruitment Consultants


Cape Town
Specifying Personnel
R8 000.00 - R10 000.00 Per Month

Property [change area]

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.