By JESSADA SIRIYOTHAI,
THE SUNDAY NATION
The ramped-up security is taking place at the border crossing in Yala’s Betong district, following the arrest of Kamarudin bin Awang and the seizure of money allegedly made from drug-dealing.
An officer said that because of the arrest of Kamarudin bin Awang, it was suspected that other members of Xaysana’s network would attempt to smuggle drugs from Thailand across the border to Malaysia during the busy weekend period.
Officers at the border crossing have been ordered to strictly check the identity of travellers with the police database and carefully inspect vehicles that pass through the border, the officer said.
The officer also revealed a search was under way for Usaman Salaemang, an alleged powerful drug dealer in the South who is thought to be hiding in the border area.
He also said that drug profits were used to sponsor insurgency in the South.
Meanwhile, police in Songkhla’s Hat Yai district have increased security for the period between Buddhist Makha Bucha Day yesterday to Valentine Day on Tuesday to keep tourists safe.
Deputy superintendent of Hat Yai police station, Lt-Colonel Ranon Surawit, said that more than 300 officers from his and nearby police stations were deployed to increase security in Hat Yai city during the period for fear of a terrorist attack.
A large number of Malaysian and Singaporean tourists are travelling across the border to visit Hat Yai this long weekend.