Thai police seize heroin thought Australia-bound

Associated Press

BANGKOK (AP) — Thai police said Wednesday they have seized 147 kilograms (323 pounds) of heroin they believe was destined for Australia, a single haul that exceeded some of Thailand's recent yearly seizure totals.

Police said the heroin seized Tuesday night in the Andaman Sea port city of Ranong had a street value that would have been 3 billion baht ($96 million).

Thai deputy police chief Maj. Gen. Somyot Pumpanmuang said Wednesday that two men— a Thai and a Malaysian — were arrested on trafficking charges when police seized the heroin.

Thai drug seizures for all 2012 totaled 127.5 kilograms (281 pounds), according to the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime. Total seizures for 2009 and for 2010 were also smaller than the latest seizure.

Somyot said Tuesday's seizure followed a tip from Australian police to their Thai counterparts. The drugs were wrapped in 420 packets that were to be hidden in frozen seafood containers.

He said police believed the heroin originated in Myanmar and had been smuggled across Thailand's northern border. Myanmar is the second biggest producer after Afghanistan of opium, from which heroin is derived. According to the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime, most heroin made in Myanmar is trafficked to China.

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