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Police in Thailand Take Down African Cocaine Trafficking Ring

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Police in Thailand Take Down African Cocaine Trafficking Ring

Three African men and two Thais have been arrested in Bangkok, Thailand, on suspicion of involvement in transnational cocaine trafficking, police told a press briefing.

When the police made the arrests, they seized 413.3 grams of cocaine worth more than 1 million baht. The task force was comprised of the Central Investigation Bureau (CIB); immigration police; Anti-Trafficking in Persons Division (ATPD) and military police.

A Nigerian national, Daniel Onyekachukwu Ngwu, 40, an African man, Alfred Divine Chika, 38, and a Nigerian man, Gabriel Obidimma Obiechefu, 37 were identified as the three men. The two Thai men were 43-year-old Kanyarat Hawakot and 25-year-old Assadawut Mansom, Thai media reported.

Central Investigation Bureau Commissioner Jirabhop Bhuridej told reporters on Saturday that the suspects were arrested while working as part of a sting operation. According to police, the three Nigerians illegally entered the country and set up their own network in the kingdom.

They used Thai women as tools for drug trafficking to distribute drugs to Thai and foreign customers – mostly celebrities – at various entertainment venues in Bangkok.

In addition to using women as drug traffickers, the group would conceal drugs in their luggage or even swallow them to avoid detection at the airport.

The investigation team was instructed by Pol Lt Gen Jirabhop to lure the group into the open, which led to the arrests in Phra Khanong and Klong Tan. Each of them confessed to committing the crime for 4-5 years. The three Nigerians were also charged with illegal entry as well as possessing cocaine with intent to distribute.

He added that police were tracking down their accomplices.

Meanwhile, a couple was arrested and more than one tonne of high-grade marijuana was seized from their vehicle near the Mekong River in northeastern Thailand.

Col Mongkol Hothong, deputy commander of the Surasak Montri military task force, said the couple was arrested and 1,118 packages of high-grade marijuana, each weighing one kilo, were found in their Isuzu MU-7 sport utility vehicle.

The marijuana seized from the suspects was worth a minimum of 10 million baht on the street.

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