PATTAYA – February 5, 2013 [PDN]; at 12:10 a.m., the arrests of more than 80 people on drug charges at a police checkpoint was announced by Mr. Phongthasit Pijjanan of Banglamung Assistant District Office.
Officers from the Banglamung Civil Defense Volunteer office coordinated with the police to set up the checkpoint within Soi Nern Plub Wan, near Sawangboribul school.
More than 60 officers at the checkpoint were stopping and inspecting suspicious motorbikes with people assumed to be carrying or consuming drugs. In little more than 2 hours, the officers arrested 80 male drug addicts, along with drugs and drug paraphernalia they were carrying.
Mr. Phongthasit said the mass arrests were intended more for rehabilitation than punishment, as part of a government project, “Return Good Citizens to Society.” The project involves tackling the drug problem in a targeted village for each Amphur all over the country.
In order to reduce the problem of drugs in the Pattaya community including Amphur Banglamung, the District Office arranged to coordinate with the police to set up the checkpoint. Initial efforts will be made to provide treatment for the 80 suspects to help them stop using drugs, he said.