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American Busted for Trafficking Crystal Meth “Ice” in Central Thailand

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Bart Helmus

BANGKOK – A 39 year-old American man and his Thai wife have been arrested in the resort town of Pattaya, Thailand on possession of crystal meth “Ice” and possessing a firearm without a license.

Chon Buri police chief Nanthachart Supamongkol told Thai media that police officers arrested American national Bart Helmus, 39, and his Thai wife Sirinapha Wisetrit, 30, in Pattaya.

Police posing as buyers ordered 10 grams of crystal methamphetamine“ice” from the couple.

Police later searched their condominium in Bang Lamung district of Pattaya, Chonburi and found 978 grams of crystal methamphetamine in plastic bags, a pistol and 200 bullets and 205,500 baht in cash.

Pol Lt Gen Nanthachart said the two had been trafficking drugs for some time in Pattaya and nearby areas.

They were charged with possessing drugs with the intent to sell and having a firearms without authorization.

Police found 978 grams of crystal methamphetamine in plastic bags, a pistol and 200 bullets and 205,500 baht in cash.

According to the Bangkok Post during interrogation, Mr Helmus told investigators that he ordered crystal methamphetamine online on the “dark web.”

He said the crystal Meth was shipped to him via mail courier from northern Thailand.

Police are further investigating their source of the illegal drugs, allegedly from the Golden Triangle.

Meth Surge from Shan State

Seizures of high-purity crystal meth “Ice” have surged more than tenfold in Thailand.

Over the past two years, a stark indicator of the growth in industrial-scale production from Myanmar.

Thailand is a major trafficking route for crystal meth manufactured in Myanmar’s Shan and Kachin states, where police say Asian organized crime groups have allied with local pro-government militias and armed rebels to set-up “super labs”.

The average price of a meth tablet was 200 baht ($6.33) in 2013. The latest data, for 2019, showed a yaba pill can be bought for as little as 80 baht ($2.50)