INTRODUCTION: In the Thai capital, Bangkok, on Wednesday (16 December) a haul of drugs seized in police raids over the past two years was burnt in an official ceremony.
GV TRACKING SHOT FROM River waterfront houses fro which heroin sold.
SV Addict injecting forearm with heroin dose (3 SHOTS)
TRACKING SHOT Waterfront houses.
LV, SV, CU Soldiers guarding drug haul in barbed wire compound.
CU Marijuana in cardboard boxes. (2 SHOTS)
SV Women testing heroin samples.
CU & SV Armed soldier watches as drugs piled up prior to burning. (3 SHOTS)
SV Newsmen watch as Thai Deputy Prime Minister General Prachuab Suntrangkoon lights drugs haul. (2 SHOTS)
SV Newsmen watch as soldiers wearing breathing apparatus set light to other piles of drugs. (4 SHOTS)
LV Piles of burning drugs.
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Background: INTRODUCTION: In the Thai capital, Bangkok, on Wednesday (16 December) a haul of drugs seized in police raids over the past two years was burnt in an official ceremony. The event was witnessed by narcotics agents from a number of western countries - many of whose governments are concerned at quantities of drugs coming from Thailand and other Far Eastern countries.
SYNOPSIS: Drugs like opium, heroin and marijuana are easily available from areas like this in Bangkok. Thailand had previously been well known for its opium houses. Since the Vietnamese war, when American soldiers introduced the heroin habit, the number of heroin addicts in the country has increased dramatically. Opium houses have been replaced by waterfront shop selling heroin. The addicts buy the drug and inject themselves on the premises. Because heroin is so freely available in Thailand, drug traffickers from all over the world' have moved in - to exploit the highly profitable and illegal market for the drug that exists in western countries. The drug is an expensive commodity, and its supply is secretive - often involving highly-paid couriers.
The Thai government is trying to stop the illegal export of drugs. The main aim is to try and persuade farmers to stop growing the opium poppy from which the heroin is refined. It is a slow process. The hill farmers in Thailand have been growing the crop for generations. To help the Thai government in its campaign, western governments have been providing financial aid.
Another part of the anti-drug campaign has involved the seizure of drugs and the arrest of couriers. On Wednesday (16 December), General Prachuah Suntrangkoon, Thai Deputy Prime Minister, and head of the country;s anti-drug department, ceremonially set fire to this haul of drugs - the fourth such event since 1977. The 600 kilos of narcotics being burnt here are the result of over 17,000 criminal cases dealt with by courts throughout Thailand in 1979 and 1980. Despite government efforts, the likelihood is that the ceremony will be repeated next year.