PHUKET – Immigration Police have arrested Belgian Patrick Marc Maurice Lagrou, 55, who is wanted in Belgium for trading in contraband and marijuana cultivation, police said.
Patrick Lagrou, 55, was arrested in Phuket on Saturday night by immigration police led by Pol Col Sanchai Chokkhayaikij, the Phuket immigration police chief.
Pol Col Sanchai said Mr Lagrou was wanted in Belgium for cultivating marijuana and was found to have accumulated wealth of about 25 million euros from trade in contraband.
He escaped arrest in Belgium and fled to Thailand, leading to his being apprehended in Phuket at the request of the Belgian authorities.
Mr Lagrou was being detained for further legal proceedings.
Meanwhile, Police on Saturday seized 614 kilograms of marijuana with a street value of more than 9 million baht and arrested a 34-year-old man in Chumphon.
Officers manning a checkpoint on Phetkasem Road in Pathiu district of the southern province made the discovery when they stopped a suspicious-looking pickup truck at about 11.30 am on Saturday. They found 648 bricks of marijuana wrapped in black plastic bags inside fertilizer sacks in the rear of the pickup, Manager Online reported.
The marijuana originally came from Laos and was smuggled across the Mekong River in Nong Khai province, police said. The seized drugs were worth more than 9 million baht.
Driver Somchai Ketsri, 34, a native of Phichit province, confessed his involvement in the operation
Police said the arrest of the suspect followed information from a police informant that a drug smuggling gang was about to smuggle marijuana from the Northeast into the South. The drugs were believed to be destined for tourist destinations in southern provinces.