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Three-week crime suppression operations net illicit drugs worth Bt320m from 101 suspects

Apr 17. 2018
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By Jessada Chantharak
The Nation

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Police seized a large haul of narcotics with a street value of Bt320 million from 101 suspects in 88 drug busts during March 28-April 17 crime-suppression operations overlapping the Songkran holidays, deputy national police chief Pol General Chalermkiat Srivorakhan told a press conference in Bangkok on Tuesday.

Besides confiscating 255 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine, or “ice”, over 170,000 ya ba pills, 54kg of heroin, 110kg of krathom leaves and 745 esctasy pills, police officers also impounded Bt11.3 million-worth of assets belonging to the suspects, he added. 

Police also apprehended 140 wanted persons during the three-week period.

Pol Lt-General Sommai Kongvisaisuk, chief of the Narcotics Suppression Bureau (NSB), cited a number of interesting cases, such as the April 11 bust in which three male suspects from Chiang Rai were nabbed along with 250kg of “ice”, a 10-wheel truck and a pickup at a service station in Phayao’s Chiang Kham district. 

He said police had acted in this case after a tip-off about a Wa tribal drug ring’s smuggling of narcotics from Laos into Thailand.

The three suspects confessed to police that they had been hired by an investor in the neighboring country to transport the drugs for delivery to a dealer in Ayutthaya, who would distribute them to other retailers in central Thailand, Sommai added. 

Despite such a reported confession, police suspected that the drugs’ true destination was the Thai-Malaysian border, where such a batch would fetch far more money, he said, explaining that the crystal meth would fetch Bt3 million per kilo in central Thailand but Bt13.5 million per kilo in the border area.

A police investigation also found that one of the three suspects was wanted in connection with a separate drug bust, in which 9.4 million ya ba pills and 788kg of “ice” were seized in Chiang Rai’s Wiang Kaen district early this month, the NSB chief said. 

The three men were initially charged for having drugs in their possession with the intent to sell.

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