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Pattaya Daily News

Hilton
18 November 2010 :: 18:11:18 pm 46208

US-Thai Collaboration To Enrol Thai Public In Anti-Drug War.

The Thai and US drug agencies, increasingly anxious about the expected drug surge, due to the incipient war between ethnic rebels and the Burmese Army, are issuing a clarion call to the Thai public to aid in the anti-drugs war.
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November 18: Drug agencies, increasingly concerned about the strong likelihood of a massive surge in drug trafficking due to the developing tension between ethnic rebel Burmese armies and the Burmese military, seen in its incipient stage in the recent fighting along the Thai-Burmese border, have stepped up their publicity campaign to enrol the public in the fight against drugs. Highest on their list of targets is the drug king pin, Wei Hseuh-kang, condemned to death in absentia for his role in orchestrating large scale drug trafficking in the region, specifically for the 680 kgs. of Southeast Asian heroin that was seized in October 1987.

One such campaign, Operation Hot Spot, is part of the current war on drugs that many will have seen advertised on the streets of Pattaya in the form of the US Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) “Rewards for Information” campaign. Operation Hot Spot, based in Chiang Mai, is a collaboration between the Narcotics Suppression Bureau (NSB), the DEA) and the US Consul-General in Chiang Mai. The campaign seeks specific information on anyone concerned with drug trafficking, terrorism and money laundering and informants can be assured of anonymity.

Chiang Mai is a crucial choke point of the notorious Golden Triangle, lying close as it does to the confluence of Northern Thailand, Burma, Laos and Southern China. Because of its strategic position, It has inevitably been used as an historical transit point for cross-border drug trafficking from producers in the aforementioned neighbouring countries into local provinces and beyond in the international drugs trade.

The authorities are particularly keen to apprehend the Sino-Burmese drug baron, Wei Hseuh-kang, whom the US has placed a price on his head of Bt62 million/US$2 million for conspiracy to import and distribute over 400 kgs of heroin in the US.

Interested parties take note, Wei, aka Chanchai Chiwinnitipanya; Wei Sia-kang; and Prasit Chiwinnitpanya is 5′ 6” with black hair and brown eyes. His birthday has been variously put at June 29, 1952 or May 6, 1959. Wei is a prominent official of the United Wa State Army (UWSA), the largest single heroin and methamphetamine producing and trafficking organization in Southeast Asia. It is thought that Wei and his family have facilitated the international drugs trade by pouring millions of dollars into infrastructural development within the Southern Military Region and the Mong Yawn Valley along the sieve-like Thai-Burmese border region, which since time immemorial has been the main smuggling routes for opium and heroin and latterly yah-bah(methamphetamine). Although Wei is the conspicuous head of the Hong Pang Group, a financial and commercial network composed of 11 individuals and 16 companies, constituting a sub- group of the UWSA, he is only one amongst a number of significant leaders. Ho Chun Ting, aka Aik Haw aka Hsiao Haw, is yet another, as is his father-in-law Bao You-Xiang, both leading members of the UWSA, an organisation which has relied on the drugs trade for its prosperity, much of which has been reinvested into expanding UWSA military capabilities and areas of operation. These are names we can expect to hear much more of as the epidemic of yah-bah flows down the drug corridors to flood Thailand and its neighbours as the ethnic insurgents and Burmese military intensify their conflict in the months to come.

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