Drug trafficking under the guise of fashion

18.10.2023
Drug trafficking under the guise of fashion

Drugs in clothes: a new smuggling trend in Thailand

Thai police detained two Chinese nationals who tried to smuggle a shipment of drugs to Australia. The perpetrators used a clever scheme of hiding illegal substances in boxes of clothing. This case demonstrates a worrying trend in recent years - the transformation of Thailand into a transit hub for drug trafficking.

Suspicious parcels in a delivery office

Hong Kong-born Ka Sing Chan, 28, and Chor Lung Lui, 19, tried to send allegedly 18 boxes of shirts to Australia through a delivery firm in Bangkok. Their behavior alerted the company's employees, who called the police.

When law enforcement officers opened the packages, they found about 1 kilogram of heroin cleverly hidden under the clothes. Another 2 kilograms of methamphetamine was found in the hotel room of the detainees.

The growing threat of drug transit

Criminologists say Thailand is becoming a key transit hub for drug trafficking. The main routes are through the north from the Golden Triangle and neighboring Myanmar.

The growing demand for Asian drugs in Australia and other APAC countries is creating a breeding ground for smuggling. Criminals are developing increasingly sophisticated illicit supply schemes.

Drugs in printers and Band-Aids

In the summer of 2022, Bangkok Customs intercepted shipments of drugs disguised as ordinary goods.

In July, 1.2 kilograms of heroin was found in a parcel of printer paper at Suvarnabhumi Airport.

In August, law enforcers seized about 3.5 kilograms of opiates in packages of painkiller patches. The shipment was destined for Hong Kong, South Korea and Australia.

Efforts by authorities to combat smuggling

Thai police are investigating the activities of the detainees to uncover the entire drug trafficking chain.

Controls at the country's ports and airports have been stepped up. In June, a shipment of heroin for Australia weighing about 32 kg was intercepted at the port of Bangkok.

Despite the measures taken, drug traffickers are looking for loopholes, using new marketing tricks. But law enforcers do not intend to give up their positions in this fight.

Author of the article: Ekaterina Antonova