CHIANG MAI, Thailand - A drug bust in Chiang Mai on March 17 that saw police seize 400,000 'yaba' pills exposed a new formula of yaba mixed with heroin, Office of the Narcotics Control Board (ONCB) secretary-general Pol Gen Pongsapat Pongcharoen said yesterday. The drug carried a logo of a lion on a globe.
The narcotic - the first of its kind discovered by the ONCB in 37 years - was suspected to be a new product of a Lahu tribal factory on the Myanmar side, in order to make the yaba more addictive, he said.
If an addict took one yaba pill, worth Bt120 (S$5), per day, this new product would make the addict want to take 2-3 pills per day, he said - boosting the dealer's income accordingly.
Warning that heroin in Thailand and neighbouring countries contained pure heroin of 80-90 per cent - compared to other countries' rate of only 20-30 per cent, Pongsapat said this drug batch could be fatal.
ONCB would contact Laos and Myanmar to help locate and crackdown on the factory, he said. Although police had intercepted this batch of drugs from smugglers, some of it might have spread already to communities. Pongsapat said anyone spotting narcotics with a logo of a lion on a globe should alert the ONCB hotline 1386.