However, the chief of the Patong Police has played down V/Gov Sopoj’s claim saying there is no cocaine epidemic in the area.
V/Gov Supoj’s revelation came during a drug suppression meeting held at Phuket Provincial Hall yesterday (Oct 18) with Chief of the Defence Division of the Phuket Provincial Office Siripong Leeprasit and related officials also in attendance.
V/Gov Supoj said, “The price of drugs is continuing to decrease due to larger amounts of drugs being smuggled into Phuket. The increase in drugs is due to an increase in demand,’ he said..
“Recent police statistics on drug arrests confirms this information,” he added.
“We have also found that there is an increase in use of heroin and cocaine among specific group of people in the Patong area.
“In addition, methamphetamine (ya bah) and crystal meth (ya ice) is continuing to be distributed across the island.
“Kratom is the most prevalent drug in Phuket and cannabis continues to be used by tourists and teenagers,” he said.
“I have ordered relevant officials to investigate these facts to immediately enforce the law,” he added.
Speaking to The Phuket News yesterday, Patong Police Chief Col Anotai Jindamanee said confidently, “There is no truth about a cocaine epidemic in the Patong area and I can confirm that Patong is not the point for distributing drugs.
“Most of those arrested for drug crimes in Patong have told me that the drugs have come from other places but they use it here,” he said.
“It is mostly foreigners who use cocaine and it is not easy to find on the market.
“Meanwhile, heroin arrests are less this year compared to last year.
“We work hard to suppress drug use within the Patong community,” he added.