WORLDPOST
08/28/2013 07:39 am ET | Updated Aug 28, 2013

'Yaba' Meth Sold As Candy To Children In Thailand

AP

Thai officials said at a press conference Monday that a methamphetamine-based drug known as "yaba" is being packaged as candy and sold to kids via Facebook, according to The Guardian.

Thai slang for "crazy medicine," yaba is a cocktail of meth and caffeine. The substance, also known as "Nazi speed," is purportedly modeled after pills said to have been taken by Hitler's soldiers to give them energy and endurance during World War II. In recent years, the drug has swept Thailand, leaving 9 million addicts in its wake.

Once the go-to pick-me-up for Thai truck drivers, yaba has blossomed in popularity and is known to be used by a range of people, from factory workers to club-goers, according to The Global Post.

Children are now apparently a target demographic. Yabba tablets are reportedly being sold in bright, attractive colors and flavored with chocolate and strawberry to mask the drug's naturally bitter taste, according to The Nation. Police General Priewphan Damaphong warned parents that the drug is becoming increasingly available on Facebook.

This news comes amid a flood of yaba imports to Thailand. According to Southeast Asia-based Straits Times, Thai police forces earlier this month seized 980,000 of the illegal pills, amounting to almost $6 million. They believe the load was heading to Bangkok.

According to Thailand's Chiangrai Times, authorities suspect that a wave of yaba trafficking is related to the booming Burmese narcotics trade. According to the U.S. State Department's 2012 Narcotics Report, "South-East Asia has experienced significant increases in the seizures of methamphetamine pills originating from Burma."

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