Bid to widen opium crop substitution


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to widen opium crop substitution

Thailand will urge neighbouring
countries to replace drug crops with other crops, to cut the spread of
drugs in the region.

The justice, foreign affairs,
interior and defence ministries met to discuss the plan yesterday.

Justice Minister Pongthep
Thepkanchana said Thailand had already implemented crop substitution successfully
in Ban Yongkha village in the Shan state, Burma, and the approach should
be expanded.

“We agree that it is the
only sustainable solution to drug problems,” he said.

Meanwhile, methamphetamine
pills were expected to start crossing the border again after the government’s
war on drugs ended this month.

Instead of being smuggled
in lots of hundreds of thousands of pills, the drugs were likely to be
distributed among small-scale smugglers in thousand-pill lots.

Pol Lt-Gen Chidchai Wanasathit,
secretary-general of the Office of the Narcotics Control Board (ONCB),
said 80% of drug communities nationwide had been cleansed thanks to the
drugs war.

The rest of the country would
be cleansed by Dec 2, when the government would declare Thailand as a nation
free of illicit drugs, he said.

An ONCB official said the
government’s fight against drugs had raised the price of methamphetamines
to 400-500 baht a tablet in some areas because of their scarcity.

Deputy Prime Minister Gen
Chavalit Yongchaiyudh said the government would have to step up cooperation
with neighbouring countries especially Burma to stop drug smuggling. 

Bangkok Post online 25.04.2003

Copyright: Doc Highgoods
1998 – 2003
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