By Khanathit Srihirundaj
The raid in Bang Plee district netted 70 kilograms of cannabis tincture, six kilograms of hashish and some equipment.
The facility was reportedly backed for the most part by a Japanese investor and had reportedly succeeded in smuggling five tonnes of cannabis tincture to Belgium in March.
The detection in Belgium of the cannabis tincture hidden in pressed coconut coir fibre led Thai police to investigate the case until they zeroed in on the Samat Prakan site as the source.
The operation also arrested four suspects, said police. British man Joseph Toole, 67, who allegedly trained workers and performed quality control, was nabbed in Chon Buri’s Bang Lamung district. Canadian investor David Kulik, 65, was apprehended in Chon Buri’s Muang district, while Thai man Suriyan Suwanchairop, 34, was nabbed in Sakhon Nakhon, and another Thai, Supakit Kaewma, 54, arrested in Bangkok.
The police probe found that raw materials were supplied from Thailand-based drug-trafficking groups as well from others based in Laos, Chalemkiat said.
This case was announced to the press as one among seven recent drug busts that police netted a total of 21 suspects and seized drugs worth Bt440.5 million. The seized drugs comprised 2.9 million methamphetamine pills, 70 kilograms of cannabis tincture, 6.6 kilograms of hashish, 600 kilograms of dried marijuana, three kilograms of crystal meth (“ice”) and six ecstasy pills.
Other interesting busts include the arrest of five male suspects along with one million methamphetamine pills on December 2 in Ang Thong, as they transported the illicit drugs in two pickup trucks from Chiang Rai heading towards Bangkok.
Two Thai male suspects in their 40s were arrested and 780,000 methamphetamine pills seized during a drug delivery on December 1 in Chiang Rai. Another operation saw the arrest of four suspects, and seizure of 599 kilograms of dried marijuana in Sara Buri on December 2.