September 21, 2022 11:59
The Korea Customs Service on Tuesday said it has seized a substantial haul of narcotics in a joint bust with the Thai government. This is the first joint operation with Thailand involving customs agents who were dispatched overseas.
The KCS sent a team of agents to Thailand in November last year after the bulk of drugs seized here was traced to the Southeast Asian country. Out of 124 methamphetamine seizures in Korea last year, 48.8 percent were traced to Thailand.
Seven KCS officials were dispatched to Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport every month between May and August to trace drug-smuggling deals in collaboration with the Thai authorities.
The ensuing busts led to the seizure of 22 kg of methamphetamines, 290,000 amphetamine or "yaba" pills and 479 ecstasy pills in 35 separate foiled smuggling attempts, three times more than the number of busts in the previous four months. The agency speculated the total would be enough to supply a single dose to 3.92 million users.
Most shipments were by international mail, followed by air cargo and carry-on luggage. Ten were intercepted at source in Thailand.
KCS chief Yoon Tae-sik signed a memorandum of understanding on Tuesday with his Thai counterpart Pongtep Buasap to step up cooperation in tracking down narcotics smuggling. The agency plans to boost cooperation with other Southeast Asian and European countries.
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