Drug lords tried to hide 1.1 tonnes of crystal meth inside tea bags and coffee

Thai authorities have seized crystal methamphetamine smuggled inside tea and coffee packages.

Pictures shared by the Narcotics Control Board in Bangkok show the counterfeit packs that were headed for export markets.

Police said in a statement 1.1 tonnes of the drug were confiscated in less than a week.

The operation comes after clashes between police and smugglers in the northern hinterlands.

After a tip-off, authorities arrested 10 people in a series of raids in the north and south of Thailand.

‘Some of these drugs were kept for a period of time before being transported to the southernmost provinces,’ said Chinnapat Sarasin, deputy national police chief.

‘They were supposed to be shipped to other countries later.’

He said Thailand was ‘surrounded by drugs manufacturing hotspots’, but that the Covid pandemic had prevented smugglers from moving their wares.

‘Now that the country has reopened, the pent-up products are just being shipped in non-stop,’ he added.

The first two raids took place in the southern Thai provinces of Phatthalung and Surat Thani.

Officers discovered 1,600 pounds of crystal meth, known by the street name ‘ice’.

They later arrested four more people after finding 94 pounds of the drug, which was being sold via the popular Thai messaging app LINE.

On Sunday, another man was arrested in northern Chiang Rai province as he was preparing to transport roughly 661 pounds of ice, south to Satun.

Finally, around 251 pounds were confiscated in central Nakhon Sawan and Patum Thani provinces, after the drugs were found hidden in coffee bag packages.

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