Bangkok, Canal boats watched in South for kratom smuggling
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    Bangkok, Canal boats watched in South for kratom smuggling

    Bangkok Post May 13, 2017

    Locally made commuter boats in the southern provinces will be watched more closely after a large number were used to smuggle kratom from Malaysia for sale as a narcotic.

    Using kratom as a drug is currently rife in the region. Thai farmers and fishermen traditionally chew kratom leaves as a mild stimulant, even though the practice is outlawed.

    Authorities found many of the small commuter boats, known locally as ruea phit, which are used by villagers in canals, are being misused to ferry kratom from Malaysia to be sold mainly in Satun, deputy Satun police chief Pol Col Niphon Hemslamat said yesterday.

    In a recent meeting among representatives from various security agencies, it was agreed the boats would be listed for better regulation. The meeting also talked about requiring all owners to have their boats registered.

    This measure is expected to help officers who have been unable to identify the boats and their owners when they intercept kratom-loaded vessels, Pol Col Niphon said.

    “This can be one measure to solve the smuggling of kratom to Satun by sea,” he said.

    Native to Southeast Asia, kratom (Mitragyna speciose) is an evergreen tree in the coffee family. Because of its psychoactive properties, some people boil its leaves to make narcotic-like cocktails.

    Statistically, kratom is the most confiscated substance by police in anti-drug operations because the plants are easily obtained and market demand is high.

    One recent intelligence report states that 100kg of kratom can easily be sold in a day in the South.

    According to officials, wrongdoers are not afraid of the law because the punishment is too lenient. They just pay a fine and then go straight back to business.

    In a string of recent drug crackdowns, most cases were found to involve kratom. On May 10, up to 170kg were seized in an operation led by Satun governor Phattharaphon Rat tan a phi ch et th ac hai.

    His team raided a house in a coconut plantation in tambon Phiman in Muang district and arrested a suspect identified as Uthaisak Kongchip.

    The 36-year-old allegedly told police all the kratom belonged to a man named Sakon. He said he was only hired to watch the plants for 500 baht a shift.

    Pol Col Niphon said authorities cannot rely only on legal measures to stop the spread of kratom in the province and that better education is needed.

    “We need cooperation from parents,” he said. Kratom may not be prohibited by religion but the plant harms people’s health, he said.

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      Re: Bangkok, Canal boats watched in South for kratom smuggling

      Well I had no idea that this sort of thing goes on for something that just pops up in our market. I have been intrigued by this for some time now and I actually like using it but I was really unaware of where it comes from and all of that. Very interesting though.




     

     

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