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Drug running! Thai police find 176kg of crystal meth hidden in treadmills headed for Japan

Drug running! Thai police find 176kg of crystal meth hidden in treadmills headed for Japan
Kingpins of the illicit narcotics trade in Southeast Asia have taken ‘drug running’ quite literally by concealing 176kg of crystal meth in the metal framework of treadmills bound for Japan, only to be busted in Thailand.

Police Major General Yingyot Thepchamnong, head of the Narcotics Suppression Bureau, did the leg work in the case after a similar incident in Australia jogged his memory and he worked out that drugs could be in the workout gear.

“Last month, the Australian police busted a similar case with the drugs hidden in exercise equipment, which they told us was packaged and exported from Thailand,” he told Reuters. 


“So, we followed up in the belief that there must be other cases.”

Officers at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi airport on Tuesday discovered the pounds of crystal meth stashed in exercise equipment among cargo bound for Japan. They then were then able to track the shipment back to the warehouse.

Fifty officers of the Narcotics Suppression Bureau police sprinted down to the warehouse, and found another 10 boxed treadmills labelled for shipment to Japan found at a godown in Prawet district in Bangkok.

The meth was contained in tea packets and registered 200kg when weighed, which has a street equivalent of around $200 million.

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According to the Bangkok Post, Piyanan Pongsetsiri, 44, who rented the godown, was arrested on charges of attempting to smuggle illicit drugs out of the country and having drugs in his possession with intent to sell.

Drug runners are inclined to use the route through Thailand to traffic drugs manufactured in Myanmar’s Shan and Kachin states.

The UNODC estimates that the Asia-Pacific methamphetamine trade alone was worth as much as $61.4 billion in 2018, up from an estimated $15 billion just five years earlier, according to New York Post.

For one particular drug runner, it seems his race has well and truly been run.