Thailand has expressed gratitude to Myanmar authorities for returning Thawatchai Aomchompoo, one of Thailand’s most wanted drug suspects. At the 23rd meeting of the Thailand-Myanmar Joint Commission for Bilateral Cooperation in Drug Prevention and Suppression in Bangkok, Justice Minister Somsak Thepsutin represented the government in thanking the Myanmar government for its assistance in apprehending the drug suspect. Thawatchai was apprehended as part of the “Most Wanted” operation, which was co-organized by Thailand and Myanmar to track down and apprehend individuals suspected of being part of an international drug trafficking ring.
In his remarks, Minister Somsak emphasized the importance of multilateral cooperation in combating drug trafficking and bringing those responsible to justice.According to the Narcotics Suppression Bureau (NSB), the individual was found hiding in the town of Tachileik, across the border from Chiang Saen, Chiang Rai, where he ran a drug-smuggling operation. NSB chief Pol Lt Gen Sarayut Sanguanphokhai said Thawatchai was wanted by police for his alleged role in at least two major trafficking cases. He faces a number of charges, including conspiracy to traffic narcotics and money laundering.
Both countries agreed at the meeting to step up investigations into the smuggling of narcotics and their precursors in the region as part of Operation Golden Triangle 1511, endorsed at the 2016 UN General Assembly Special Sessions.Additionally, the two sides agreed to beef up border patrols in order to deter those smuggling drugs and precursors.