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Thai police tell ride-hailing services to beware drug deliveries

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BANGKOK (Reuters) – Thai police on Friday warned drivers working for ride-hailing and delivery services to beware of customers smuggling drugs, the police said, as the government considers guidelines for regulating the services.

In a recent case, a driver was detained after picking up a passenger in possession of drugs and a firearm, Police Major Suriya Singhakamol said, adding the driver could be punished under the law.

The warnings could play a role in the government’s decision on restrictions and regulations as it moves to legalise the ride-hailing services in Thailand.

Ride-sharing services currently exist in a legal grey area, with police routinely stopping and fining drivers because they are not properly registered.

Singapore-based Grab offers rides in cars and on motorcycles, while its rival Get, a unit of Indonesia’s Go-Jek, only offers motorcycle rides.

Both companies also operate delivery services.

“Drug dealers are increasingly using delivery services to send contraband. If an individual is found to be connected, either as a courier or receiver, they will be punishable,” deputy secretary-general of the Narcotics Control Board, Suriya said.

In July, Grab held a workshop with the Thai police to train drivers in identifying suspicious parcels.

(Reporting by Panarat Thepgumpanat and Chayut Setboonsarng; editing by David Evans)

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