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10 arrested, yaba and heroin seized in police busts

Aug 22. 2017
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By Supachai Phetchthewee
The Nation

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The Narcotics Suppression Bureau (NSB) announced on Tuesday that three successful drug busts had led to the arrest of 10 suspects along with the seizure of four million yaba pills and nearly 45 kilograms of heroin.

NSB chief Pol Lt-General Sommai Kongwisaisuk also claimed that drug production had apparently increased from 500 million yaba pills a year to five billion pills to make up for losses from previous busts.

In the first case, Worapong Reuchajirakit, 64, and three accomplices were arrested along with 3.8 million yaba pills found in a six-wheel truck in Lampang’s Mae Prik district on Sunday.

Worapong reportedly confessed that his team had smuggled the drugs this way three times before. This time, they were heading to Nakhon Pathom’s Buddhamondhol area to distribute drugs in Bangkok and other provinces in the vicinity.

In the second case, Phuwanai Sae-her, 21, and two others were arrested along with 100,000 yaba pills in Ayutthaya province last week.

In the third case, Thanapat Khamthong, 39, Daeng Thamchai, 36, and Nipon Diya, 42, were arrested on Sunday, along with 118 blocks of heroin weighing 44.84 kilograms and worth Bt89 million, at a parking lot of restaurant near Songkhla’s Hat Yai International Airport. It was alleged that the trio smuggled the heroin from the North to Songkhla under instructions from a person in Myanamar. They were to deliver the drugs to a Malaysian customer.

Sommai also said that narcotics – especially crystal meth or “ice” – produced from sources along the country’s upper border areas were smuggled through Thailand to reach Malaysia before passing into Indonesia and Australia.

“There is a report that 70 tonnes of ‘ice’ reached Indonesia this year,” he said, adding that police work had become harder because drug traffickers simply increased production to make up for losses in raids.

 “From producing 500 million yaba pills a year, now they make five billion,” he said. He said it was necessary to elevate the suppression of drug operations through cooperation with foreign authorities.

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