19 Jan Thailand seeks Myanmar, China help in drug war

Written by Mizzima Published in Regional Read 2071 times
Thai police officers guard seized drugs during a press conference at the Royal Thai Police headquarters in Bangkok, Thailand, March 2, 2012. Photo: Narong Sangnak/EPA
Thai police officers guard seized drugs during a press conference at the Royal Thai Police headquarters in Bangkok, Thailand, March 2, 2012. Photo: Narong Sangnak/EPA

Thai Justice Minister Mr Paiboon Koomchaya has called on Myanmar and China to help arrest 10 fugitive drug traders believed to be in hiding in those countries, according a The Nation report on January 18.

Justice Minister Mr Paiboon said the seven male and three female suspects were important drug dealers wanted for their alleged role in trading illegal drugs, mostly methamphetamines or “yaba”.

The suspects are said to be hiding out in the Myanmar and China border regions.

The Thai call for help comes as countries in Southeast Asia continue to struggle with cracking down on the trade and the question of what measures to use with drug traffickers.

Hard-to-police borders, ethnic armed groups, and corruption are just some of the challenges in trying to crack down on this profitable illegal trade.

Indonesia is taking a tough stance and has just executed six convicted drug dealers – five of them foreigners, sparking anger in Brazil and the Netherlands after two of their citizens were put to death. Australia has just put in a plea to the Jakarta authorities to spare the lives their citizens facing the death penalty, two of the “Bali Nine” group caught trying to smuggle heroin out of Indonesia in 2005.

Myanmar remains an important illegal drug producer, second only to Afghanistan, with methamphetamines and heroin posing a major challenge for law enforcers in the region.