The Land of Smiles… and Drugs
Let it be said that despite the huge amount of drugs being produced and exported from Thailand, that drugs are illegal and all international tourists should be wary of getting themselves caught up in this nasty mix when they come to the country.
Thailand has four categories for illegal narcotics, with heroin and amphetamines on top and with hallucinogenic mushrooms and marijuana bringing up the rear of the list. Thailand has harsher penalties for individuals who have“intent to sell,” and the Thai legal system does met out the death penalty for the worst offenders.
As Thailand has been struggling with drug syndicates producing drugs in the country itself, as well as recreational drugs being peddled constantly in the streets, the country’s police and drug enforcement agencies are known for randomly investigating tourists and migrants, especially Southeast Asian Chinese, Iranians, Indians, Pakistanis, and even Nepalese individuals. Lone female travelers are also targets of drug syndicates who use females to carry drug parcels (knowingly or not) across airports and borders.
Of Buddhist Monks and a British Postman
Foreigners who end up living in the country (usually they become bar owners) eventually end up dipping their toes and fingers in the drug trade. One such fellow is Jimmy Kelly, a British national who moved to Thailand after he was made redundant as a postal worker.
According to Kelly, after purchasing an island bar in Koh Samui for £33,000, he became caught up in “the system” and he started selling metamphetamines in his bar.
He was unwilling at first, but soon caved in after meeting more violent customers who would “point guns at his head” if he told them to stop buying the drugs from his island bar. When the bar next door went up for sale, Kelly doubled his drug pimping efforts so he could accrue sufficient cash to buy the property. And buy it he did – after purchasing a total of 200 grams of metamphetamines and raking in £26,000 in profits from the drugs.
At that time, he had been dating a woman who was actually working as an undercover agent for the Thai police. To cut the story short, he was caught doing what he ‘didn’t like doing,’ with a ton of incriminating evidences to boot.
Kelly retold the horrors of being in a cramped Thai prison, living with some inmates who have cases like murder. He lost three teeth after a prison brawl broke out. His fortunes changed when the British embassy bailed him out of the Thai prison and made arrangements so that he could serve the rest of his sentence back in his home country.
The use of drugs in the country is so rampant that recently, seven clergy from the “Wat Kathu” temple in Phuket tested positive for narcotics after urine examinations were done. The Buddhist monks were expelled from the order and were made to hand over the saffron robes upon arrest – but this simply means that the Thai government is barely (if at all) scraping at the surface of the drug problem in the country.