Author Topic: Barbed-wire fence latest drug weapon  (Read 1048 times)

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Offline thaiga

Barbed-wire fence latest drug weapon
« on: October 06, 2012, 12:30:17 PM »
Using a 'Fortress Thailand' mentality, narcotics officials hope the move will deter smugglers

In the fight to deter drug smuggling along Thai borders, authorities are convinced that one way is to lay a barbed-wire fence along the most porous stretch of the dividing line.

An unfenced area in Chiang Rai overlooking the MekongRiver and a Lao temple on the opposite side. NAUVARATSUKSAMRAN

A 8,465-metre string of barbed wire along the Thai-Myanmar border in Chiang Rai's Mae Sai district opposite Myanmar's Tachilek is being constructed to make life more difficult for smugglers and traffickers.

The Pha Muang Task Force and the Office of the Narcotics Control Board (ONCB) had hoped to complete the fence last month, but only 60% of the project has been finished.

Officials say more money from the ONCB is needed as much of the fence has to be erected in deep forest and mountainous areas, particularly in Ban Sob Sai, Ban Sob Luak and Ban Pa Fond Daeng in Mae Sai district, where the Luak River is located between the two neighbours.

At present, there are about 164 permanent and temporary border crossings through which drug traffickers can slip into Thailand.

This does not include 29 other temporary natural border entry points where illicit drugs are hand-carried into the country.

Maj Panom Buapeun, intelligence chief of Pha Muang's 3rd Cavalry Regiment, said there are many spots vulnerable to smuggling in Chiang Rai's Mae Sai and Mae Fa Luang districts.

Often, the drugs are placed "in transit" at the homes of residents living near the border, waiting to be transported into Thailand.

The drugs are brought in by agents and sold in the town, he said, adding there are five or six groups involved in smuggling in the districts.

But there are fears the wire fence could drive smugglers to change tactics.

Once the fence is completed, smugglers might try to transport their illicit shipments in caravans, guarded by armed men and targeting points not so well protected.

They will be ready to fight when encountering authorities.

The smuggled drugs are mostly headed to "bonded storage locations" in Chon Buri, Nakhon Pathom, Ayutthaya and Bangkok before being delivered to middlemen and customers.

The southern border provinces, where security checks are tough, are not ideal places to hide drugs, Maj Panom said.

He said drug suppression officers find it difficult to track drug smugglers whose networks tend to keep a step ahead of them using hi-tech equipment.

"They are ready to fight us," Maj Panom said, as the profits are huge.

Vittawan Sunthornkajit, deputy secretary-general of the ONCB, said the northern provinces record the highest number of drug seizures and suppression with Chiang Rai at the top.

The ONCB has set out three campaigns to deter drug activities. These are strengthening community relations, boosting cooperation with Myanmar and blocking smuggling.

In order to combat drug use, local villagers must be included in the process, Mr Vittawan said.

Villages joining in the fight are eligible for financing from the Mother of the Land Fund, initiated by Her Majesty the Queen.

Meanwhile, Narong Apichai, director of Mae Fa Luang Foundation's field operations, said Thailand had signed an agreement with Myanmar to boost the quality of life of border residents in Myanmar in two areas of Tachilek over six years.

The aim is to reduce opium plantations in areas dominated by the ethnic Wa, Akha, Thai Yai, and Lahu hilltribes.

"Narcotics are not such a major problem for our neighbour. The main problem there is poverty," Mr Narong said.

"We will help them to develop water resources for their rice and crop cultivation," he said.

The enhancement of food security and income-generating projects will reduce poverty and subsequently lessen unlawful activities, he added.

Mr Vittawan said the operations to intercept illicit drugs must become more efficient. Smugglers tend to try different routes each change of season.

The ONCB's deputy secretary-general said the problem in the border areas in Tak province shows signs of improving with a decline in trafficking as the Myanmar government succeeds in negotiating with the minority groups.

However, the northern border provinces of Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai and Mae Hong Son still report continued smuggling activity.

The illicit networks are present in large numbers along the Mekong River.

Mr Vittawan said illicit drugs are carried in barges and are unloaded in the northeastern provinces all along the river.

Authorities have found evidence of drugs being unloaded in areas where no security forces are present in neighbouring countries before being hand-carried into Thailand, he said.

Kritika Mongkol, who handles boat bookings for the Maekhong Delta Travel Agency in Chiang Rai, said the northern city has a number of "drug-landing" spots.

Myanmar's Bang Ton Phueng opposite the province is one area where drugs are commonly placed in transit before being trafficked into Thailand, she said.

According to ONCB statistics, during nationwide drug suppression between Sept 11 and Oct 1, authorities seized 83 million tablets of methamphetamine, 254kg of heroin, 1,551kg of crystal methamphetamine, or ya ice, and 21.59kg of cocaine.

Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

Offline Baby Farts

Re: Barbed-wire fence latest drug weapon
« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2012, 04:30:32 PM »
Razor wire? hah.  Pole vault, cutters, or even toss a few blankets over're in.

Offline dodgeydave

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Re: Barbed-wire fence latest drug weapon
« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2012, 04:35:06 PM »
I would think you could even throw the drugs over or even dig under in that sand. Mind you a bit better than building a wall all around the border.
because of the vast profits made from drugs it will never be stopped. For 1 kilo they stop how many kilos make it ???