The Royal Thai Navy Mekong River unit has confiscated 11 million methamphetamine pills that originated in Laos, according to reports this week.
The Thai navy captured the boat when it arrived in Nakhon Phanom on the Thai side of the Mekong River, which is the de facto border between Laos and Thailand.
Most of the crew jumped ship to escape authorities, however one Lao citizen was arrested. A search of the boat found 11 million methamphetamine pills laced with caffeine, known as “yaba” in Laos and Thailand.
37 bags of drugs were found in the boat, with each bag containing 300,000 pills. Thai police have valued the haul at around US $100 million at market rates.
The pills were marked with a 999 stamp, which indicates they were likely produced by the Wa ethnic group, based in Myanmar, who manufacture a large portion of the methamphetamine found in Southeast Asia.
Laos is a known transit country for drug trafficking, as the country features long and unpoliced border areas with Thailand, Myanmar, and Cambodia.
Photo: AFP/Lillian Suwanrumpha