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Troops sent to destroy opium fields
- Subject: Troops sent to destroy opium fields
- From: suriya@xxxxxxxxxxxx
- Date: Wed, 18 Nov 1998 02:08:00
November 17, 1998
Troops sent to
destroy opium fields
Smaller but potent harvest expected
Troops and Border Patrol Police have been sent to destroy opium
plants in mountainous areas of the Golden Triangle before the harvest.
The target is to destroy up to 60 percent of plants cultivated on
10,000 rai of Chiang Mai, Mae Hong Son, Tak, Chiang Rai and
Phayao, said Lt-Gen Sommai Vichavorn, commander of the Third
Hilltribe people who grow the poppies have introduced modern
technology which allows for year-round cultivation and improved
yield, he said.
Destroying the crop was time-consuming and labour-intensive
because the plants were being grown in small plots over a wide area.
Drought and cold weather mean a smaller yield over the previous year
but its quality, particularly of that produced here, would be far higher.
According of the Office of the Narcotics Control Board, the
wholesale price of one joi (1.6kg) in the North had increased tenfold
to 50,000 baht and the retail price to 120,000 baht.
Raw opium here is considered of a better grade than that from Burma
and Laos because it produces better quality heroin.
Maj-Gen Sirichai Suwansiri, director of Northern Narcotic Prevention
and Suppression Coordinating Centre, said there were 2,000 rai of
poppy in Mae Hong Son, mostly in Pai district. So far, only 200 rai
had been destroyed, he said.
According to the United Nations, 2,000 tons of opium are produced
in Burma each year, half for local consumption and 80-100 tons for
Laos is reported to produce about 200 tons annually, mostly for local
consumption among hilltribe people.
© Copyright The Post Publishing Public Co., Ltd. 1998
Last Modified: Tue, Nov 17, 1998
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