Sting in Lop Buri reveals alarming decline in prices in a country flooded with methamphetamine
Methamphetamine pills, which cost as much as 300 baht apiece in Thailand just a few years ago, can now be had for as little as two baht each, say police who arrested a drug suspect in Lop Buri.
The revelation followed a sting operation on Thursday in which undercover officers in Muang district paid a 24-year-old dealer 4,000 baht and received a plastic bag containing 2,000 speed pills in return.
The transaction took place on Naraesuan Road, near the 3rd Special Forces Regiment base. It followed the arrest of two other suspects with 168 meth pills on Thursday morning at a house in Muang district.
After questioning the pair, police set out in search of the third suspect, later identified as Wiraphat “Mac” Saelee. He has now been detained at the Muang Lop Buri police station along with Manus Chanta and Bangorn Chanchampa, the suspects from the first arrest.
Prices of methamphetamine have been plunging in light of the “extreme volumes” bring produced in the region, most of it in lawless pockets of Myanmar, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNDOC).
In a report released in June this year, the agency said that over one billion methamphetamine tablets were seized in East and Southeast Asia in 2021.
“Organised crime syndicates and armed groups have exploited the pandemic and political instability in the Golden Triangle and border areas of Myanmar to expand production the past year,” said Jeremy Douglas, the UNODC regional representative based in Bangkok.
“There are very few drug labs found in the region outside the Triangle anymore, the supply continues to surge, and governments and agencies continue to report the same source.”
In September of this year, police in the northeastern province of Maha Sarakham arrested a drug suspect and confiscated 600 meth pills. During questioning, the suspect told police that she was selling them at 7.50 baht each.