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$33 Million of Gold and Assets Seized from Alleged Drug Syndicate

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Police in northern Thailand have seized assets worth about $33 million from a gold shop and other business. They are suspected of being a drug trading hub in northern Thailand. A gold shop owner faces an arrest while his son is already in custody.

A team of 100 officers from Provincial Police Region 5, narcotics suppression police and other agencies searched 13 venues in two provinces on Saturday. The eight sites in Phitsanulok included the Saeng Prom gold shop. Four locations at the Khok Matum market and other sites in Muang district. Furthermore five sites in Chiang Mai were also searched.

Suspects Rolled Over on Accomplices

drug syndicate chiang rai

The operation came after the arrest of four drug suspects and a drug seizure in Mae Chan district of Chiang Rai.

The suspects implicated Phanthanan Apichaithanathip, the son of the gold shop owner. Police arrested him before seeking court approval for an arrest warrant for his father.

Mr. Nanthaphan Apichaithanathip,is wanted on a warrant for colluding in the drug syndicate.

The Bangkok Post reports officers had earlier arrested two suspects. — Mr. Chalermpong Kosiri, 36, and Bulakorn Kaewma, 50 — at a petrol station in Ayutthaya. Mr Chalermpong was also a son of Mr Nanthaphan’s from another relationship police reported.

The suspects’ confessions led to the arrest of six more alleged members of the drug syndicate. A police investigation found Mr Nanthaphan was the drug syndicate leader who bought drugs from Lamul Sae Jang, 44.

The officers seized 1,428 baht weight of gold ornaments, worth about 28 million baht. Also seized were assets related to the shop and its owner. Including four dormitories worth 200 million baht, 10 commercial buildings worth 50 million baht; 58 land plots worth 155 million baht; also 50 Buddha amulets, three cars and other valuables worth about 500 million baht. Consequently the value of the amulets had not yet been assessed.

Pol Gen Suchart Theerasawat, a deputy national police chief, said the rapid expansion of Mr Nanthaphan’s businesses had also raised suspicions among local business people.

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