Pattaya Daily News

18 August 2010 :: 11:08:20 am 35587

Iranian National Implicated in Thai Drug Smuggling Operation

An Iranian national has been arrested at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport attempting to smuggle over 2kg of crystal methamphetamine (Ya-Ice) into the Kingdom. In the last nine months, customs officers have arrested over 50 Iranian nationals attempting to smuggle narcotics into Thailand through Suvarnabhumi Airport.
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Bangkok, the 17th of August 2010: Customs officers working at Thailand’s premier international airport successfully busted an Iranian national, Mr. Masoud Sadeghian Ghavamabadi [32], attempting to smuggle over two kilograms of Ya-Ice into the Kingdom.

Mr. Ghavamabadi was asked to undergo a random baggage search after he was observed acting suspiciously having departed from a Qatar Airways flight from Tehran, Iran.

During the brief search and resultant x-ray, customs officers discovered the presence of an hidden compartment contained within Mr. Ghavamabadi’s luggage. Further checks found a concealment of some 2.07kg of Ya-Ice, with a street value of approximately Bt8 million.

Method of concealing crystal methamphetamine (not actual bust)Initially Mr. Ghavamabadi denied any knowledge of the drugs before admitting to customs that another man had asked him to smuggle them into the Kingdom. Resultant checks revealed that Mr. Ghavamabadi had been previously visited Thailand on four other occasions, although he did not reveal the nature of his past visits.

Reluctant to give any further information pertaining to the drugs, their intended destination and source, Mr. Ghavamabadi has been charged with smuggling of a class-1 drug into Thailand. He has now been transferred to the Narcotics Suppression Bureau for further interrogation.

Since October 2009, customs officials at Thailand’s main international airport have impounded over 90kg of crystal methamphetamine (Ya-Ice) worth over Bt310 million. In the same timeframe customs and narcotics, agents have busted over 50 Iranians implicated in the smuggling of this highly addictive substance, considerably more than any other nationality.

Editor’s note: Thailand, in particular Suvarnabhumi Airport customs officers, are notably cracking-down on smuggling of illegal goods into or out of the Kingdom over the past few years. Appearing on several global blacklists as a nation well known for attracting illegal smuggling rings, Thai authorities are intent on eradicating the issue and are cooperating with other national authorities worldwide in an attempt cut the flow of illegal goods from the source.

Given this “crackdown” and the well-publicised reports of Iranians being implicated in numerous busts, more so than any other nation, it begs the question why they continue to perceive this as a viable operation. Not only do they continue to fly these drugs into Thailand, but Suvarnabhumi, the most up-to-date and secure of all Thailand’s airports and consequently the most watched by international criminal agencies. It also raises the question, what at the Iranian airport security and detection measures like, given that these smugglers are obviously passing through their customs undetected.

Finally, with Myanmar in the north, Cambodia and Laos in the east and Vietnam merely a few hours over land from the border, surely better sources of supply for illegal drugs is available, closer at hand and less prone to detection.

Although there are obvious inherent risks to trafficking drugs across any international border, land borders, especially those in the aforementioned regions of Thailand, are much less vigilant in their anti-smuggling procedures and attract a lot less attention from authorities. Cases are much less publicised, whether this is because they are not as prevalent in general or because they go “unreported” by authorities is another matter altogether.

Reporter : John Weston   Photo : Internet   Category : Thailand News

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