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Drugs hidden in KFC chicken at Phuket Prison in July 2011

Phuket Entry Police Nab Aussie Tourist in Cab for Drugs

Sunday, January 22, 2012
PHUKET: A young Australian tourist was arrested by Phuket police at Tachatchai checkpoint last night as he arrived on Phuket after catching a taxi with a friend from Bangkok.

Checkpoint police opted to search the Bangkok taxi when it arrived on Phuket about 7pm last night. Tachatchai lies at the northern approach by road to Phuket.

One gram of marijuana - enough for what marijuana smokers call a ''joint'' - was found in the shoulderbag of a man police named as Daniel Paul Beilken, 22.

It is believed Mr Beilken and his friend, also Australian, were planning to catch a flight from Thailand within days.

Police say Mr Beilken is likely to be granted bail when he appears in court on Monday, but he is not likely to be permitted to leave Thailand until his case has been resolved.

The latest arrest comes as police and local authorities this week announced a campaign to make people aware of the extent of drug addiction on Phuket in advance of a visit by Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yoobamrung on February 17.

Khun Chalerm will speak at an anti-drugs rally at Saphan Hin public park in Phuket City that is expected to attract 12,000 people.

Thailand's ''no tolerance'' policy on drugs is certain to be strictly enforced on Phuket in advance of the rally, with drug-test raids likely on venues and in homes in areas where drug-taking is rife.

A planning meeting at Provincial Hall in Phuket City this week heard that in the October-December quarter of 2011, there were 329 arrests for offences involving marijuana on Phuket.

There were 19 arrests involving possession or sale of heroin and 13 involving cocaine in the same period, the meeting was told.

Methamphetamines were far more significant among the 3666 arrests for drugs in that period, police said. A total of 777 offenders were arrested and 7852 grams of crytal meth (yah ice) seized, along with 2095 arrests and 180,692 tablets involving ya bah, Phuket's illegal drugs of choice.

The visit by the Deputy Prime Minister is part of a nationwide campaign to highlight the dangers of drug addiction. Phuket has 3486 registered addicts.

More than 80 percent of the inmates at Phuket's overcrowded Provincial Prison in Phuket City are serving sentences or awaiting trial over drugs.

Comments

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1 gramm? poor fellow the troubles he get for that

Posted by mike on January 22, 2012 11:44

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I notice the usual " acting on a tip off " is missing from the story.

This being the case it shows the excellent investigating skills of the arresting officers and the benefits of spending so much on our border protection. Good to know our island is being so jealously guarded.

The size of the bust is likely to make world headlines.

Posted by interested observer on January 22, 2012 12:59

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And the War on Citizens marches on...

Posted by Media Watcher on January 22, 2012 13:15

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It's not really a war on citizens, mediawatcher. Cops don't make laws. Governments do. There are many places in the world where small amounts of weed are tolerated or not prosecuted. Thailand is not one of them. If you want to smoke weed, or think it should be legal, then that's fine with me - but do it some place that has the same view. Thailand doesn't hold that view. Getting busted for 1 gram sends a strong message out. Don't bring weed here, it's just not worth it.

Posted by Mr Man on January 22, 2012 13:52

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Mr Man, you are right, don't bring it here, you can buy it quite freely in Patong...1grm....now if the police would put as much effort into..well, I don't need to say anymore....1 lousy grm..yes ED I know, any amount is illegal, but hey, how many busts are made in Patong, they could go there any day and have a bigger bust..maybe even get the suppliers....oops, no that won't happen.

Posted by Laurie Howells on January 22, 2012 14:48

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Hi Mr.Man, I totally agree. If one joint is to little - what is too much? The same with speed limit. I don't know any country in the world says speed limit are around 80.

Posted by Retired roadworker on January 22, 2012 15:19

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'with drug-test raids likely on venues and in homes in areas where drug-taking is rife' Will the police really be going into private residences to conduct Drug Tests?

Posted by spud67 on January 22, 2012 19:56

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Laurie and Roadworker. Not really sure what your point is. Phuket prison is full and a huge number of the inmates are in for drug related offences. The police DO prosecute. Users, dealers, Thai, Burmese and foreigners. It's about risk management. You would be unlucky to get busted for a gram in London, Sydney or Los Angeles. But here in Thailand, there is a chance. Do you really want to see the inside of a Thai prison? I don't. My advice still stands. Don't bring weed here, it's just not worth it.

Posted by Mr Man on January 22, 2012 21:44

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Well said Laurie ,this young lad is the token farang knuckle head that will be used as an example to all that the police are on the ball here regarding drugs.Then on that premiss why not check over Soi Bangla without the usual date,time and location of the check / raid being bandied about.I'll bet you'll find enough grass there to set up a lovely lush 5 a side football pitch plus enough left over for a pitch and putt course for the golfers among us.That is of course if we have a few properly trained and motivated sniffer dogs and handlers on the job to help our officers track the gear down, who knows what else they may find if they take a really serious look, Commander.

Posted by Scunner on January 23, 2012 01:09

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Go on, Ed - grow a pair!

(moderated)

Posted by Eric on January 23, 2012 12:29

Editor Comment:

The topic, Eric, is the growing and smoking of marijuana.

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Try this in Bali and you will get the same result. Just because it's widely available, doesn't diminish the idiocy of some people to flout the law.
I agree with Mr. Man - just don't do it.
If you can't help yourself, then don't cry when you get busted.

Posted by Tham on January 23, 2012 15:53


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