Innovative blockchain system to ‘tell on’ drugsters

The Justice Ministry, in a new move to increase drug suppression measures, says it will release a blockchain drug informant system aimed at keeping informants’ identities anonymous.

Justice Minister Somsak Thepsutin said yesterday the system, a joint initiative between the ministry, the Narcotics Suppression Bureau (NSB) and the Office of the Narcotics Control Board (ONCB), is an informant platform that accepts drug complaints from the public while keeping their identities anonymous.

Mr Somsak said the blockchain system has been in development since September, with 800,000-900,000 baht spent purely on funding research.

“However, we want the system to be ready by the end of this month, due to the increasing number of victims who have been attracted by drug dealers recently,” he said.

Meanwhile, authorities have seized assets worth almost 90 million baht from a major drug network and arrested a woman and a man during raids on six locations in two northern provinces.

The six locations in Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai were searched on Friday following the recent arrest of two men — Anupong Semee and Chaturong Matchawong — at a house in Chiang Mai with 340,000 speed pills, according to the Office of the Narcotics Control Board (ONCB) yesterday.

A follow-up investigation showed that the two suspects were part of a drug network linked to a woman identified as Ornamol Jaidee, who allegedly handled its finances. Authorities subsequently sought approval from the Chiang Mai Provincial Court to issue an arrest warrant for Ms Ornamol.

Another man, identified as Chusak Saenping, was apprehended for illegal possession of weapons. However, officers did not mention whether or how he was linked to the drug network.

Assets worth 89.2 million baht were seized, including land plots, houses, cash, gold ornaments and animals such as cows, goats, buffalo and fighting cocks.

Wichai Chaimongkhol, the ONCB secretary-general, said the agency was continuing with its strenuous efforts to crack down on drug trafficking networks operating in the North, in order to prevent drugs from entering other areas of the country.