Malaysians caught with drugs on Thai train

Malaysians alleged to be members of a drug-trafficking gang lined up next to bags of heroin and methamphetamine. They were arrested for trying to smuggle the drugs by train from Thailand into the Malaysian town of Butterworth.
Malaysians alleged to be members of a drug-trafficking gang lined up next to bags of heroin and methamphetamine. They were arrested for trying to smuggle the drugs by train from Thailand into the Malaysian town of Butterworth.PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

BANGKOK • A gang of 15 Malaysians has been arrested in Thailand for trying to smuggle millions of dollars worth of heroin and methamphetamine by train, police said yesterday.

Investigators said the group was moving drugs from northern Thailand to the Malaysian town of Butterworth. "This gang chose to transport drugs by train rather than by car because transporting by car is riskier as there are several checkpoints," said Lieutenant-General Thitiraj Nhongharnpitak, commander of Thailand's Central Investigation Bureau.

Railway police made an initial arrest on Wednesday afternoon following a tip-off, taking in two suspects allegedly in possession of 23kg of methamphetamine.

Their detention led to subsequent raids and arrests along the train line between Thailand and Malaysia with police also seizing a total of 226kg of methamphetamine and 8kg of heroin, police said.

Those arrested were all men, according to a list provided by Thai police.

Thailand is both a producer and a major transit hub for drugs.

Much of the regional drug manufacturing takes place in the Golden Triangle, a remote border region where Myanmar, Laos and Thailand meet.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 25, 2016, with the headline 'Malaysians caught with drugs on Thai train'. Print Edition | Subscribe