Thailand confiscates $ 30 million of crystal meth hidden in punching bags


Customs officials inspected the shipment after growing suspicious of training equipment from Thailand, which is not in great demand in Australia, said Thai and Australian officials investigating the matter at a press conference in Bangkok.

More than 193 kilograms of the drugs, also known as ice, were hidden in 15 different bags.

Surrounded by cameras, a Thai customs officer cut through a long cardboard box and then the red outer layer of the punching bag to reveal the drugs hidden in the filling.

“Australia uses about 11 tons of methamphetamine a year,” said Joel Carruthers, assistant superintendent of the Australian Border Force. “So there is a market for it and it’s fantastic to disrupt it offshore in places like Thailand.”

The Golden Triangle – an area in northeast Myanmar that meets parts of Thailand and Laos – has a long history as a major drug producing area.

It served as a huge manufacturing center for amphetamine-type stimulants, particularly methamphetamine, used by Asian crime syndicates with distribution networks that stretch as far as Japan and New Zealand.

Methamphetamine production in particular has increased significantly in recent years, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). During the coronavirus pandemic, Asia’s drug cartels inundated tens of billion dollars’ worth of synthetic narcotics markets even as the global economy stalled.

Meth backups in East and Southeast Asia rose 19% from 2019 to 2020, marking a new record high, according to the UNODC.


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