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Thailand, Burma tackle drug problem
- Subject: Thailand, Burma tackle drug problem
- From: suriya@xxxxxxxxxxxx
- Date: Sun, 03 May 1998 17:15:00
Thailand, Burma tackle
THAILAND and Burma have agreed to
increase the exchange of relevant
information and evidence as part of their
cooperation in tackling the increasing trend
of cross-border drug trafficking, a senior
government official said Sunday.
Payon Pansri, secretary-general of the
Narcotics Control Board, said that Burma
was very concerned about the spread of
drugs as it feared it would likely face the
same serious drug problems as those
experienced in Thailand.
Payon said the agreement on greater
cooperation in the exchange of information
had been agreed upon during a
Thai-Burma ministerial meeting on drug
suppression last month in Chiang Rai
province. The Thai side was led by PM's
Office Minister Jurin Laksanavisit.
''This is clear evidence that Burma is
serious in tackling the drug problem so that
it can arrest more and more suspects on
drug-related charges,'' he said.
''Burma has been serious in handling the
drug situation because it is afraid that it will
not be able to deal with it effectively. The
main reason is that it already has its own
political problems concerning ethnic
minorities. These could complicate the
situation,'' he said.
The agreement will in the meantime help
track down drug offenders who have used
Thai territory as a transit route for drug
''We have legislation stemming from 1991
which stipulates that if an offence is
conducted outside Thailand the offender
can be tried in a Thai court if there is
evidence that the offence has had negative
effects on Thailand.
With this legislation and a greater
exchange of information between the
countries, Thai authorities have high hopes
that they can take legal action against those
using Thailand as a transit route.
The drug problem, according to Payon,
cannot be tackled unilaterally but requires
cooperation among neighbouring countries.
On May 14-15 representatives of Thailand,
Burma, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and
China will meet in Vietnam to discuss and
exchange views on drug suppression.
He added that the most popular transit
route for drugs had shifted from Thailand's
northern region to Thailand's eastern
provinces such as Trat and Chanthaburi in
transit to Cambodia's Koh Kong province.
The drug also arrives in Thailand through
western provinces, including Kanchanaburi,
BY PIYANART SRIVALO