Koh Samui to be first island ‘free of drugs’

Koh Samui to be first island 'free of drugs' - Bangkok Post, June 22, 2005
Drug authorities plan to make Koh Samui the country's first drug-free island before moving on to do the same at other tourist spots.
...Koh Phangan's full moon party, which was visited by Mr Suwat and drug authorities last night, is notorious among foreign and local visitors for drugs...


[2015 note: Like many Thai newspaper articles from the early days of the Thai internet, this article is no longer online. Below is the complete text of the original article.]

Koh Samui to be first island 'free of drugs'

SURAT THANI: -- Drug authorities plan to make Koh Samui the country's first drug-free island before moving on to do the same at other tourist spots.

Justice Minister Suwat Liptapanlop and Narcotics Control Board secretary-general Pol Lt-Gen Krissana Pholanant were on Koh Samui yesterday to launch the ''No-Drugs Island'' campaign ahead of United Nations Anti-Drugs Day on June 26.

The three-day nationwide campaign will kick off on Saturday.

''This is a pilot project. After that we will expand it to other islands in the country such as Koh Samet in Rayong province,'' said Mr Suwat.

The problems were intensifying as local and foreign tourists who chose to travel there after the Dec 26 tsunami hit resorts on the Andaman Sea had attracted drug dealers, the minister said.

Under the campaign, restaurant operators, public bus drivers and motorcycle taxi drivers will carry the message across the island. Anti-drug campaign stickers and flags are also being put up.

Local villagers will be recruited as volunteers to monitor drug movements and report to drug officials.

Koh Samui is one of three districts in the southern province facing a rapid spread of drugs, especially methamphetamines, said Mr Suwat. The other two districts are the provincial capital and Koh Phangan.

Koh Phangan's full moon party, which was visited by Mr Suwat and drug authorities last night, is notorious among foreign and local visitors for drugs.

Authorities have been keeping a close watch on the visitors to see if they bring drugs along with them to the party.

--Bangkok Post 2005-06-22
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