Thailand burns 190 million dollars of drugs

BANGKOK, Friday 25 June 2010 (AFP) - Thailand incinerated 190 million dollars' worth of drugs on Friday as authorities warned that teenagers were particularly vulnerable to the narcotics trade.

Nearly six tonnes of illegal substances were thrown onto the flames to mark the United Nations' anti-drugs campaign, including 20.2 million methamphetamine tablets weighing 2.5 tonnes.

About 214 kilos (471 pounds) of heroin also went up in smoke, along with ecstasy tablets, cocaine, opium and 3.2 tonnes of marijuana.

Last year, 117,886 drug addicts were treated in Thailand and authorities said most of these were aged between 15 and 19.

The public health ministry predicts the figure will remain relatively stable, with 120,000 drug users expected to receive help in the fiscal year to March.

The burning ceremony, which came on the eve of the UN's International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, destroyed drugs seized in 3,211 cases.

Thailand, along with other countries in the region, has seen a marked increase in seizures of methamphetamine -- also known as "ice" -- as the world opiate trade declines, according to a recent UN study.

MySinchew 2010.06.25