living in the ‘Land of Smiles’

Chiang Mai, Thailand

2 of 2 – Drug Trafficking in the North

photo: Pai, Thailand

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Via: Chiang Mai Mail by  Khagohn Boonpath

The main transit routes for the smuggling of heroin, ya baa, ya ice drug (crystal methamphetamine) from Myanmar to buyers is mainly in Pai district of Mae Hong Son,  Mae Taeng district and Galyani Vadhana district of Chiang Mai, according to authorities.

In the past, drug traffickers worked with heavily armed forces that acted as protection, groups of’ up to 20 carriers led by men armed with M 16s, AK 47s, and M 79 weapons.

However, the traffickers have recently altered their tactics and now, instead of large groups of carriers have reduced their numbers to 5 or less in each group and may pretend to be villagers out hunting or gathering food in the forest.

The drugs are also packed into smaller portions and divided up among the groups. They also use Thai hill tribes people that live along the border and migrants within Thailand to deliver the drugs to clients.

Authorities report that overseas demand for heroin is currently very high and the markets have spread throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Japan. The heroin produced by the Red Wa is in especially high demand as it is considered of a much higher quality than that produced by former drug kingpin Khun Sa.

Many of the former drug producers for Khun Sa now work for the Red Wa using new techniques and modern products to increase productivity.

Pai is considered the top destination for traffickers to meet buyers, authorities point out that Pai has the second highest amount of foreign currency exchange in Thailand, coming in after Koh Samui in the South.

http://chiangmai-mail.com/current/news.shtml#hd24

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‘1 of 2 – Opium production expands in Myanmar’

https://seattle99.wordpress.com/2011/05/01/opium-production-expand-in-myanmar/

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Personal thought: reading these two articles, I must say Khun Khaghon is an excellent journalist; and I hope to read more of his writings in the not too distant future.

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May 18, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , ,

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