CHIANGRAI TIMES – Police have seized more than one million methamphetamine pills, or yaba, with a street value of over 300 million baht, and arrested two men with connections to dozens of drug networks, national police chief Priewpan Damapong said on Wednesday.
Pol Gen Priewpan said the Narcotics Suppression Bureau received a report that two drug suspects were at a house in Soi Navamin 111, Bangkok.
One of the suspects, Channarong Chomboonruang, 26, was behind the wheel of a car seen leaving the house about 4am on Tuesday. Police stopped and searched the vehicle.
The driver was arrested after police found 100,000 yaba pills inside a black backpack in the car.
Mr Channarong was taken back to the house, and 920,000 yaba pills were found in a bedroom on the second floor. They were wrapped in plastic packages.
The second suspect, Wichit Phattaranonwongsa, 37, was later arrested at a house in Nonthaburi’s Bang Bua Thong district after Mr Channarong told police where he was.
Pol Gen Priewpan said a white Honda Civic, 1.4 million baht in cash, four mobile phones and passbooks for 18 bank accounts were also confiscated.
The two suspects were arrested on charges of possessing illicit drugs and money laundering, he said.
They were believed to have connections with more than 100 drug networks. They had opened 20 bank accounts and money had been transferred into them from over 100 accounts, the police chief said.
Pol Lt-Gen Chaiwat Chotima, commander of the Narcotics Suppression Bureau, said the house was being used as a warehouse and distribution point for drugs smuggled from the North.
Mr Wichit told investigators that the drugs were smuggled from Myanmar. They were then transported from northern Thailand to Pathum Thani’s Klong Luang district before being sold nationwide, police said.
The suspect confessed that he had been trafficking in smuggled drugs for over a year and that he was paid 100,000 baht a month.
The drug ring leader was in Myanmar, he added.
Meanwhile, a man tried to take his own life after being caught on a train with 31,000 yaba pills, police said.
Payuha Thinkhiri, 26, of Nakhon Si Thammarat’s Phipun district, was searched by railway police who thought it was suspicious that he was wearing a thick jacket when it was quite warm in the carriage of the Chiang Mai-Bangkok express train between Khun Tan and Mae Tan Noi stations in Lampang province on Tuesday night.
The police found the pills concealed under the jacket.
After being arrested, the man asked to go to the toilet, where he stabbed himself twice in the stomach, apparently hoping to take his own life.
He seriously hurt himself, police said.
He was handed over to investigators at Hang Chat police station and later admitted to Lampang Hospital.
The man admitted he was hired to deliver the drugs from Chiang Mai to Bangkok, police said.