48 tons of sodium cyanide seized in Chiang Rai raid

48 tons of sodium cyanide, a key ingredient in the manufacturing of methamphetamines, has been seized in a raid coordinated by the Office of the Narcotics Control Board with the assistance of Region 5 police and army officials in Chiang Saen District, Chiang Rai.

The caretaker of the warehouse, named as Anusorn Pharino, presented paperwork showing that the chemicals were being stored there before beyond despatched to a gold mine in neighboring Myanmar. As well as making drugs, the chemicals are also used for gold cyanidation, a hydrometallurgical technique for extracting gold from low-grade ore by converting the gold to a water-soluble coordination complex.

Officials said they would check with Myanmar authorities for confirmation that the chemicals were being held for import into the country to a gold mine as claimed.

If used for drugs, the sodium cyanide can be synthesized into phenyl-2-propanone, a key ingredient used when making meth.