AYUTTHAYA – A 47 year-old Thai man who played Robin Hood handing out methamphetamines he discovered in a forest so people could use them to pay off personal debts has been arrested, along with two of the alleged recipients.
Prachuap Kanphet, 41, Pannarai Pinyophol, 25, and Sompong Thayapol, 47, were apprehended and 470,000 ya ba tablets seized on Tuesday, Thai media reported today.
The arrests followed a tip that several bundles of speed pills had been handed out for free in several areas in this central province, Pol Maj Gen Suthi Puangpikul, Ayutthaya police chief, said during a media briefing at Uthai police station.
Police accused Mr Prachuap of giving away the drugs to locals and found 100 speed pills on him.
Follow-up investigation determined that he found several bags containing 700,000 ya ba pills and 10kg of crystal meth while collecting wild plants about 500 metres off Asia Road in tambon Khayai in Bang Pahan district on May 20. The suspect said he saw a man unloading the bags from a pickup truck.
After his arrest, Mr Prachuap led police to the area where he hid the drugs. Four bags containing 470,000 pills were recovered.
Soldiers and police then looked for the recipients of the free speed and nabbed Ms Pannarai and Ms Sompong with some of the drugs. Police said the women confessed to selling some of the free drugs they received.
Others reportedly had destroyed the drugs for fear of being caught, said Pol Maj Gen Suthi.
Mr Prachuap confessed he told close neighbours about the drugs and offered to give the drugs for free to those who wanted money to pay off debts. He had already handed out 230,000 speed pills and 10 kg of crystal meth to 10 residents for free, claimed the man.
He also kept some speed for his own use before being arrested, he said.
Police are investigating the origin of the drugs.
By Sunthon Pongpao