BANGKOK, SEPTEMBER 16 (IANS): Thailand's Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan said on Wednesday that the border checkpoints between Thailand and Myanmar are temporarily sealed in an attempt to curb possible Covid-19 infections and drug trafficking.
Wongsuwan said that as the region is experiencing economic woes triggered by the pandemic, many were tempted to make big bucks by trafficking drugs into Thailand, then destined to a third country, Xinhua news agency reported.
"Thai authorities have seized 28 million speed pills and 428 kg of crystal meth last month," said Defence Ministry spokesman Kongcheep Tantrawanit.
"Narcotics were smuggled from neighboring countries through northern and western provinces to Thailand's central region." Tantrawanit said that from January 1 to August 31, officials arrested 179,050 drug suspects and seized 143 million methamphetamine pills and 5.4 tons of crystal meth.
With regards to sealing the border between Thailand and Myanmar, Wongsuwan said traders can still transport their goods and placed them at the collection point at the border, without the need for physical contact.