V/Gov Supoj presided over a meeting with Phuket Provincial Narcotics Control Management Centre officials at Phuket Provincial Hall to address the issue.
The vice governor spoke of the failure to tackle the issue of rising drug-related crime on the island – an issue that has been addressed numerous times in the past, and most recently on January 30 at a similar meeting. (See story here.)
“The latest report has found that drug-related arrests in Phuket, from October 2018 to March 2019, have increased by 3.83% year-on-year,” the vice governor said.
“The main drugs being used are kratom, ya bah (methamphetamine), ya ice (crystal meth), cannabis and cocaine, while cannabis seems to be the drug of choice among tourists and teenagers.
“During the period, 676 cases were recorded consisting of 356 cases of illegal drug possession, 187 cases of drug addiction, 73 cases of illegal possession with intent to supply, 44 cases of illegal drug manufacturing and cultivation, and 16 cases of illegally supplying drugs.
“The report noted that the main transportation method was by land,” V/Gov Supoj explained.
“The main suppliers are outside of Phuket Province and they move drugs around the island via buses, cars and private shipping companies. They communicate from outside the province through the LINE application and Facebook.”
“The report also highlights the use of marine transport for the movement of drugs,” the vice governor went on the explain.
“Drugs are often transported across the coast from neighbouring provinces using small boats. Fishing boats are also used,” he noted.
No specific plan to tackle the issue was mentioned at the meeting this time around.