A former assistant village head and his son have been arrested in Chiang Mai for conning people into open bank accounts to launder drug money. Narcotics Suppression Bureau officials and army rangers raided his house in Fang district in Chiang Mai, Thursday.
While searching his residence, Mr Somsak was spotted running away from behind the house. He was caught and detained for questioning. The former assistant village head said he ran when police arrived because he mistook them for robbers. He also denied any involvement in the drug trade.
He told officials he took people from his village to open bank accounts, so they could better manage their money.
Saying the bank accounts had nothing to do with the drug trade. He denied he had hired the people to open the accounts to receive drug money.
Police however believe Mr Somsak hired people to open bank accounts to receive money from members of a drug network run by Veera Muenjada. A major drug kingpin who remains at large, police suspect he’s in Myanmar.
According to police in 2015, Mr Somsak took at least 30 local residents to open bank accounts. Money paid into those accounts had later been transferred to drug traffickers in Myanmar.
More than 500 million baht had been circulated through the accounts, according to police.
Mr Somsak’s son, Charoonroj Sakhonkhiri, 22, was also caught during the raid and faces similar charges.
Meanwhile 2 other suspects were also arrested in 2 separate drug raids in Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai. On Thursday 400,000 meth pills, 200 grams of heroin. The seizures were worth 5 million Khaosod News reported.
The operation also targeted Suda Harncharoenchaikul, a former candidate of the Prachachart Party for Chiang Rai.
She is wanted on a court warrant for allegedly laundering money from the drug trade. Suda was not at her house in Thoeng district of Chiang Rai when police arrived.
Police Photos from Arrests in Chiang Mai