BANGKOK - The Thai authorities intercepted nearly 900kg of crystal methamphetamine hidden in a cargo shipment at Bangkok's Port Customs Office and bound for Taiwan, where it could be sold for up to US$88 million (S$120.6 million), a customs official said on Saturday (Dec 4).
The drug was seized by customs officials late on Friday, hidden in powder form inside 161 white silicon slabs in packages destined for Taiwan.
"The 897kg of crystal meth is worth about 500 to 600 million baht (S$20.2 million to S$24.3 million), but once they reach their destination they will be worth 3 billion baht in market price," Thai Customs Director-General Patchara Anuntasilpa told a press conference on Saturday.
Patchara said that the Thai and Taiwanese authorities were both investigating.
The methamphetamine market has continued to expand and diversify in East and Southeast Asia, unaffected by the coronavirus pandemic.
In October, police in neighbouring Laos seized a record haul of 55 million methamphetamine tablets and over 1.5 tonnes of crystal methamphetamine tablets in the Golden Triangle region where the borders of Myanmar, Thailand and Laos meet.
The Golden Triangle has a long history of illicit drug production and has recently served as a massive production centre for amphetamine-type stimulants, especially methamphetamine, used by Asian crime syndicates with distribution networks reaching as far as Japan and New Zealand.