BANGKOK – The Office of Narcotics Control Board (ONCB) has announced Royal Thai Police seized almost six tonnes of compressed cannabis in two linked raids in Ayutthaya and Pathum Thani, and arrested one man.
ONCB secretary-general Pongsapat Pongcharoen said on Wednesday morning that on Saturday police arrested Niran Kotangka, 35, a resident of Nakhon Panom, with one tonne of cannabis hidden in a load of gravel on an 18-wheel truck in Ayutthaya’s Wang Noi district, reported in the Bangkok Post
Mr Niran allegedly confessed he was being paid 100,000 baht to deliver the cannabis to Pathum Thani.
The NCB said the case was part of a sting operation in which police agents tried to purchase the cannabis for 4,500 baht a kilogramme from a Lao dealer. It was believed the cannabis was destined for export to the Netherlands.
Pol Gen Pongsapat said the operation then expanded to the search of a warehouse in Pathum Thani’s Lam Luk Ka district.
Pol Maj Gen Sermkid Sithichaiyakant, commander of Ayutthaya police, said that at the warehouse police found a total of 4.689 tonnes of cannibis in compressed one-kilogramme blocks hidden in corrugated carboard boxes and covered with clothes. Packaging equipment was also seized from the warehouse.
Initial investigations revealed that Sirisak Boonsiri, 47, had been renting the warehouse for about four months. He was not there. The warehouse is used by Boonsiri Packaging Limited Partnership, a packaging business.
The police went to Mr Sirisak’s house in Lam Luk Ka district where only his wife was at home. She denied any knowledge of the cannabis but admitted that her husband had worked for a packaging business for the past two years.
The police said they were trying to track down Mr Sirisak and his gang.
Based on the price negotiated in the sting operation, 4,500 baht a kilo, the total value of the seized cannabis is around 25.6 million baht, but it would be worth a lot more overseas.