CHIANGRAI TIMES – Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm yesterday vowed to push for law amendments to allow the execution of drug convicts when 15 days had passed after they lost their court appeal.
He said so that they would not deal drugs from behind bars and mingle with other criminals.
“Criminal meets criminal equals archcriminals. I won’t listen to the National Human Right Commission or NGOs, because I answer to the country and the public,” Chalerm said.
He said he would propose an amendment to the criminal procedure code for drug offences to have drug convicts appeal to the Central Appeals Court and execute them 15 days after the Appeals Court upholds their death sentence.
Justice Minister Pracha Phromnok ordered the Corrections Department to assess the behind-bars drug suppression campaign – including moving major drug convicts to the maximum security Khao Bin Prison and conducting snap cell searches – after it had been implemented for 60 days.
He also instructed the department to study the possibility of executing drug inmates in 30 days after a final court ruling, which Chalerm had suggested, and table the idea to a committee meeting.
However he said he personally felt that the existing legal punishments were enough to keep convicts away from drug dealing, although some with no good intentions would repeat the crime.
Chalerm was presiding over a press conference for Wednesday’s drug bust that netted 1.02 million methaphetamine tablets and 20 kilograms of crystal meth, also known as ice, worth Bt400 million.
Also seized were 20 bank passbooks, 10 cars and two shotguns from a house in Pathum Thani’s Lam Lukka district and used car dealerships, which were used as fronts.
The conference also presented Prathomthat Jirarattanawong, 35, whose arrest for drug possession led to the raid.
Police are now hunting for the alleged gang leader, Supawat “Bang Sef” Khonthong, 40, who ran the car business and who fled when the house in Lam Lukka was searched by police.
Pol Lt General Winai Thongsong, commissioner of Metropolitan Police, said police found that Supawat and his wife, both from Chiang Rai, had four accomplices including Prathomthat, who served as a drug transport lookout in exchange for Bt50,000, and who smuggled drugs from the North to sell in Greater Bangkok.
The other gang members were identified as Noppadol Sririth, 29, who reportedly contacted customers, Suwit Yaempannai, 41, who allegedly transported drugs, and Narai Yungsiri, 34, who allegedly assisted in laundering the proceeds.
Chalerm praised police for a successful bust.
In Chiang Rai, police caught Phayaonative Boonsri Oodthangkhai, 56, transporting 350,000 yaba tablets, five kilograms of ice and 200 counterfeit Bt1,000 banknotes in Mae Fa Luang district.
Boonsri said he was hired to carry the drugs from the border to Phitsanulok for Bt300,000. He was given Bt200,000 as an upfront payment, which were the fake bills.
Colonel Thanatpol Kosaisewi, chief of the Third Army Area’s special task force, said tremendous waves of yaba were pouring across the border because a minority group in a neighbouring country needed money to buy weapons.
There were about 38 million yaba tablets waiting smuggling through Ban Doi Sam Sao on the Chiang Rai border, he said.
In Bangkok, the Min Buri Court granted the first 12day detention of the four Drug Suppression police who were arrested earlier this week for making a drug arrest but letting the suspect go and keeping the 300,000 yaba tablets and 5kg of ice for themselves.
Police had objected to their release on bail, citing possible flight and evidence tampering risks.