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Reoffending cop arrested for drug and wildlife trafficking

Oct 12. 2017
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By The Nation

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A local police officer has been fired after being arrested at a resort in Nong Khai's Muang district for alleged drug trafficking and trading in wildlife on Wednesday night, said Nong Khai police chief Pol Maj-General Paisal Luasomboon on Thursday

Paisal led officers to arrest Pol Senior Sgt-Major Thinnakorn Pengpa, 45, from the Wiang Khuk precinct at 10 minutes past midnight at the Wiang Khuk resort. 

Officers found in his room Bt20,000 cash, four amphetamine “yaba” pills and drug paraphernalia, and a pistol and four bullets. 

Thinnakorn's pickup truck was found to contain two more pistols and 22 bullets. �

Officers also arrested an alleged accomplice, Phitsanupong Suntharos, 40, implicated in the illegal trading of wildlife who was staying in a room next door. 

Phitsanupong reportedly confessed to police that he had been hired by a Suphan Buri businessman to deliver turtles contained in 12 sacks and cobras weighing cumulatively 600 kilograms to a customer at a Mekong River pier operated by Thinnakorn. 

The recipient had already crossed the border with the contraband by the time of the arrest. 

Phitsanupong reportedly admitted he had carried similar deliveries twice before for a fee of Bt10,000 each time.

After the arrests, officers raided Thinnakorn's home, where they found another man, Theerawit Inkhen, 33, in possession of one yaba pill. Theerawit said Thinnakorn had told him to guard the house and admitted to having taken two yaba pills. No other illegal items were found at the house.

�Paisal said the investigation stemmed from the arrest of a teenager in possession of 60 yaba pills on Wednesday morning. The unnamed suspect told police that he had received five bags of yaba, each containing 200 pills costing Bt17,000, from Thinnakorn. 

The suspect said he was supposed to sell the drugs and bring the proceeds to Thinnakorn at the resort. 

Police then gave the suspect Bt20,000 in banknotes whose serial numbers were recorded to deliver to Thinnakorn before making the arrest. 

Paisal said Thinnakorn confessed to drug trafficking, resulting in his dismissal from his post.

A subsequent investigation concluded that that Thinnakorn had previously been involved in illegal activities and been subject to warnings and disciplinary punishment. 

Paisal said Thinnakorn would face severer punishment than a civilian would because his crimes were carried out in his capacity as a police officer.

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