Police recovered about 100 million baht in assets from a drug network after apprehending its boss and seven associates in Pathum Thani and Yala provinces in Thailand.
The Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) commander, Pol Lt Gen Jirabhob Bhuridej, announced on Wednesday that alleged gang boss Charoen Rattanawan, 32, and seven other suspects were apprehended on Tuesday at six sites in Pathum Thani and one in Yala.
According to the CIB chief, they were wanted on arrest warrants issued by the Yala Provincial Court on allegations of supporting or assisting people involved in narcotics trafficking and cooperating in money laundering.
During the operations, police seized 80,000 methamphetamine pills, nine guns, including war weapons, and 262 rounds of ammunition. Authorities also seized assets totaling about 100 million baht for investigation. They comprised apartments, a garage, 27 automobiles, and three motorcycles, according to Pol Lt Gen Jirabhob.
Mr Charoen, alias Jack Sam Mor, allegedly directed his associates to register bank accounts in order to accept drug-related money transfers. This money was eventually transferred to other network members’ bank accounts. The suspects allegedly used private logistics services to deliver drugs to consumers.
Pol Col Pongpanot Chukaew, chief of Crime Suppression Division (CSD) sub-division 6, said Mr Charoen and the other suspects had migrated to Pathum Thani province and set up enterprises including as rental apartments, a racing car garage, and a marijuana café as fronts for the illegal drug activity. According to him, the group also sold illicit cars.
For many years, the suspects had rented apartment units in adjacent locations to store illicit substances before delivering them to consumers. They had amassed assets worth approximately 100 million baht from illegal drug trade, according to Pol Col Pongpanot.
According to authorities, all individuals admitted to the charges during questioning. They were turned up to CSD detectives to face legal charges.
Police Bust Illegal Casino in Hotel
Meanwhile, Police arrested 49 people, including 26 Chinese nationals, and seized over US$100,000 in cash at an illegal casino operating on two floors of a hotel in Nonthaburi province.
The casino was located on the eighth and ninth floors of the IWish hotel in Ngam Wong Wan. The two floors were rented, with key-card access only. Immigration officers, joined by local police, stormed the property.
According to the initial notification, 26 Chinese gamblers and 23 Thai personnel were detained. Police seized six baccarat tables, six slot machines, around 100 packs of cards, approximately 3.5 million baht in cash, and casino chips with denominated values totaling tens of millions of baht.
The suspects and seized products were transported to the Rattanathibet police station in Muang district for further investigation.
Later, Pol Col Thanamet Wichitchariya, chief of Rattanathibet station, stated that local police had visited the hotel last month and discovered no casino. Immigration authorities had also requested assistance from cops from his station during the operation.
He described the casino as large. The hotel leased the two floors to a Thai operator, who required key cards to obtain entry.
According to the station chief, there were 49 people, including Canadians, Lao, Myanmar, and Singaporeans. Some foreigners worked as casino employees. While in the food court, twenty-six arrested people rejected all charges.
National police head Pol Gen Torsak Sukvimol stated that he has directed his deputy Pol Gen Kitrat Phanphet to properly examine the case and discover the true owner of the casino.
Pol Gen Torsak stated his deputy will investigate the rumor that foreigners managed the casino, and police would take legal action against any officials who illegally supported the illegal operation.
The national police chief stated that senior policemen in the casino’s vicinity had not been reassigned pending the inquiry.