''Thailand now a drugs hub''

Thai Justice Minister Paiboon Khumchaya has said that the country has the worst drug situation among all ASEAN members.

Bangkok: Thai Justice Minister Paiboon Khumchaya has said that the country has the worst drug situation among all ASEAN members.

He said the drug situation in Thailand is more serious than previously thought and measures to rehabilitate addicts have failed, Bangkok Post reported.

The country is now a "narcotics hub", the minister said after presiding over the opening of a drug addiction rehabilitation facility.

Citing figures from the Office of the Narcotics Control Board (ONCB) and the Narcotics Suppression Bureau, the minister said Thailand has 1.3 million drug addicts, about two percent of the total population.

Of this number, 2,50,000 addicts have been prosecuted and imprisoned while the rest are still out of reach, he said.

Even worse, some who undergo rehabilitation still return to drugs.

Addicts are mostly among younger population with the youngest drug addict recorded is seven years-old, the minister added.