CHIANGRAI TIMES – Drug suspects were arrested in the northern most province of Chiang Rai with kilogrammes of ice, crystal methamphetamine, & 158,000 methamphetamine pills valued at some Bt50 million (about US$1.7 million).
Worawut Eausuwanwong & Supattra Radinghin were detained while boarding a Bangkok-bound bus at Chiang Rai bus terminal with the prohibited drugs hidden in their baggage, Pol Maj-Gen Chamnan Ruadraew, deputy chief of Provincial Police Region five told a press briefing on Monday.
Apart from the drugs, police also confiscated cellphones as proof.
According to the preliminary inquiry, the pair is linked to a drug syndicate in the suburban Bangkok province of Nonthaburi.
They implicated a man identified as Thongchai Duangnam as an accomplice.
As a result, the Office of the Narcotics Control Board Region five coordinated with the office in region one to raid a home of Mr Thongchai in Nonthaburi’s Bang Yai district as well sought the Chiang Rai courts approval for an arrest warrant for Mr Thongchai
Regarding the earlier smuggling of 850 million pseudoephedrine-based pills from South Korea, Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yubumrung on Monday said that they had ordered the Department of Special Inquiry (DSI) to probe the alleged import of the 40 tonnes of medicine as well as to stamp out pseudoephedrine drug-related syndicates.
The 850 million pseudoephedrine tablets, weighing 40 tonnes, were smuggled from South Korea to the Thailand by plane & had filed false cargo declaration at the airport, the deputy premier explained, adding that companies were suspected of being involved in the shipment of the pills.
The suspicious companies were identified as a supplier of integrated circuits & a automobile dealership.
The pseudoephedrine-based pills can be used to produce methamphetamine.
In a related development of Sunday’s crackdown at Nakhon Si Thammarat jail, Mr Chalerm admitted that some government personnel were involved & colluded with wrongdoers. Assets of those persons would be confiscated.
Initially, Narong Yongnarongdejkul, head of Na Khon Si Thammarat jail, was transferred to an inactive post & his assets were seized.Chalerm planned to use the Sunday’s operation to suppress illegal drugs and forbidden items in Nakhon Si Thammarat as a model for other prisons nationwide.
The early Sunday raid by 650 commandos and police officers at the prison found 280 mobile phones and tablets, 1,700 methamphetamine and 50 grammes of crystal methamphetamine, known as ice, in the prison, according to the deputy director–general of the Corrections Department, Sophon Thitithammarak, and Nakhon Si Thammrat Governor Wirote Jiwarangsan.
Ten sets of drug paraphernalia, gambling equipment, knives and 47,000 baht in cash were also seized.