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Gen Narit Thawonwong Leads Taskforce 35 in Heroic Crusade Against Narcotics in Northern Thailand

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Imagine the vigor and thrill that pulses through the veins of Thailand’s northern border, a region where beauty and danger dance a perilous tango. The Taskforce 35, a squadron of the boldest and bravest, have been the unsung heroes in a shadow war, a crusade against an invisible enemy that veils itself within the lush landscapes – narcotics.

Picturing the scene, amidst towering mountains and verdant valleys, the Taskforce 35 has been engaging in a relentless pursuit. Under the command of the indomitable Gen Narit Thawonwong, these guardians of the border have orchestrated a symphony of raids, stakeouts, and encounters that would make even the most seasoned Hollywood scriptwriter’s heart race. Over six electrifying months, they embarked on a staggering 74 operations, an endeavor that reads like chapters out of an epic saga.

Yet, the path of valor is not without its shadows. In a narrative that underscores the grit and resolve of these warriors, 30 of these operations escalated into gunfights – dramatic confrontations where the air was thick with tension and the staccato of gunfire. Through the smoke and chaos, the force exhibited a blend of bravery and strategy, managing to apprehend suspects in 40 cases and pushing the boundaries of their investigations to include asset seizures.

Statistically, the achievements are breathtaking. Imagine the sheer volume – almost 130 million pills of methamphetamine, a substance more commonly known as ya ba, whisked away from the clutches of those who wished to spread their poison. The haul didn’t stop there; 1,890 kilograms of crystal meth or ya ice, 249kg of heroin, and 188kg of raw opium were also seized in operations that paint a vivid picture of dedication and danger.

In a testament to the government’s commitment to quelling this storm, the battle lines were drawn more clearly in December last year with the declaration of drug suppression areas across 11 northern border districts. Among these were the picturesque but precarious districts of Fang, Chiang Dao, Chai Prakarn, Mae Ai, and Wiang Haeng in Chiang Mai, alongside others in Chiang Rai, adding new theaters to this expansive battle against drugs.

Further amplifying their efforts, on May 16th, a decisive 90-day drug suppression operation was set into motion, covering additional districts and mobilizing more troops into this unyielding fight. The battlefront expanded, with the aim of casting a wider net to curb the drug menace that has plagued these idyllic locales.

In an episode straight out of an action-packed drama, the Pha Muang Taskforce encountered a drug network in the serene district of Wiang Haeng in Chiang Mai. In what could have turned into a fiery confrontation, fate had a different plan, and no injuries were reported. This encounter saw the seizure of six backpacks laden with 1.2 million pills, underscoring the tenacity and vigilance of these task forces.

As the dust settles on these skirmishes, the saga of Taskforce 35 serves as a stark reminder of the ongoing battle between light and shadow. Through their unwavering spirit and steadfast courage, these silent guardians continue to stand sentry over Thailand’s northern frontier, shielding it from the spectres of narcotics that threaten its tranquility. Their legacy is not just in the drugs seized or the battles fought; it’s woven into the very fabric of the communities they strive to protect, a testament to the enduring fight against a darkness that lurks beyond the picturesque landscapes.


  1. JaneDoe87 May 22, 2024

    The dedication and bravery of Taskforce 35 is nothing short of heroic. It’s a reminder of the sacrifices made by those on the front lines in the battle against the global drug epidemic.

    • TomH May 22, 2024

      While their bravery isn’t in question, we need to ask if these militaristic approaches are truly effective in the long term. Are we addressing the root cause of drug addiction and trafficking, or just putting a band-aid on a gaping wound?

      • JaneDoe87 May 22, 2024

        That’s a valid point, TomH. The success of Taskforce 35 is commendable, but it’s also important to support rehabilitation and address why people turn to drugs in the first place.

    • SkepticalReader May 22, 2024

      Heroic? More like a temporary solution that glorifies violence. The real heroes are those working to change the societal issues that lead to drug trade and addiction.

  2. GlobalPerspective May 22, 2024

    The war on drugs has been a colossal failure globally. Time and again, it has been shown that aggressive tactics result in more violence without reducing drug circulation. Thailand should learn from the failures of others rather than repeating them.

    • PatriotOne May 22, 2024

      Easy for you to say from behind the safety of your computer. These men are putting their lives on the line to protect society. The drug menace must be combated with all necessary force.

    • EconWatcher May 22, 2024

      GlobalPerspective has a point, though. Look at Portugal and their decriminalization efforts — it reduced drug deaths and HIV infections. Maybe it’s time to consider harm reduction over military action.

      • PatriotOne May 22, 2024

        Comparing Portugal to Thailand is like comparing apples to oranges. The drug problems in each country have different scales and socio-political contexts.

      • EconWatcher May 22, 2024

        Still, evidence suggests harm reduction policies are more effective in the long run. Maybe it’s worth exploring a combination of enforcement and public health strategies.

  3. TruthSeeker May 22, 2024

    It’s one thing to celebrate the efforts of law enforcement, but we also need to question the effectiveness of these operations in actually reducing drug consumption. Are the drugs off the streets or just finding new routes?

    • Optimist May 22, 2024

      Finally, someone asking the right questions. It feels like we’re watching the same movie over and over, expecting a different ending without changing the script.

  4. PeaceLover May 22, 2024

    Instead of investing in military operations, those funds could be better spent on education and treatment programs. Teaching kids about the dangers of drug use and providing help to addicts seems like a better strategy.

    • Veteran May 22, 2024

      You can’t educate or rehabilitate if you can’t first eliminate the threat. These drugs destroy communities. Strong actions are necessary to protect our future.

    • JournalReader May 22, 2024

      Education and rehabilitation have been proven to be more effective in many cases. I agree that prevention is better than cure.

  5. Historian May 22, 2024

    The drug problem is deeply rooted in socio-economic issues. Until those are solved, efforts like those of Taskforce 35, while admirable, might be just a stopgap.

    • Realist May 22, 2024

      Exactly. It’s a complex issue that requires more than just a crackdown. You need to tackle poverty, education, and lack of opportunities.

      • Historian May 22, 2024

        It’s refreshing to see someone understands the complexity. Sadly, these root causes often go unaddressed in the media and government policies.

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