11 July 2024

Thai military forces based along the Myanmar border in the northern province of Chiang Rai have stepped up border surveillance, especially in Mae Sai district, to prevent the smuggling of a new narcotic, known locally as “Happy”, from Myanmar’s Tachilek township.

Thai anti-narcotics officials say that the drug is easily available in almost every entertainment venue in Tachilek at between 3,000 -6,000 baht per packet of up to 20g in white powder form.

The drug is less potent than methamphetamine, but it will keep the users awake and feeling good, so they can spend the whole night in a pub or a bar. The drug is available under many brand names and is contained what look like condom packets.

Anti-narcotic officials say that the drug first surfaced at the start of COVID-19 pandemic, about three years ago, but it is only recently that it has become popular among patrons of night venues in Tachilek, a Myanmar border township infamous for narcotics and lawlessness.

They said, however, that the drug has not yet been found on the Thai side of the border, but local officials have also stepped up road checks for suspicious cars or people who may try to smuggle the drug into the country.