By THE NATION
The Office of Narcotics Control Board (ONCB) acted after a tip-off that a foreign drug network planned to ship the ketamine to Taiwan.
“The drugs are the largest amount ever seized in Thailand, with estimated value at Bt28.7 billion based on retail price,” said Wichai Chaimongkhol, ONCB secretary-general.
“Ketamine is a popular drug among nightclub-goers and foreign tourists, but it could cause hallucination and brain damage.”
The female owner of the warehouse in Tha Kham subdistrict, Bangpakong district, whose name was not disclosed, reportedly told officials that two months ago a man had rented the warehouse to store some furniture. He presented a Thai ID card which said he was a Chiang Mai resident named Aphichart Sae Ho, but the owner suspected that he might be from a neighbouring country, as he could barely speak Thai. “The man didn’t pay rent for two months, so I checked the warehouse on October 13 and found only white fertilizer bags and no furniture,” she said. “I tried to contact the man but received no response until officials showed up.”
Minister of Justice Somsak Thepsuthin said that the operation was a collaboration between the ministry, the ONCB, police, Customs Department, Airports of Thailand and other related agencies.
“We have been tracking this network for two months, and believe that the drugs were smuggled in via the Golden Triangle in Chiang Rai province and were kept in the warehouse to be shipped to Taiwan and other countries.”
Officials are investigating evidence as well as the money trail to track down persons behind this drug network.