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Prison drug business: High risk, higher pay

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If you ever wonder why people get into the risky illegal drug business, the answer is simple. The pay can be good, very good, even in prison A police crackdown is underway to stop that. 

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Natthapol Raya, (left), a former warder at the Nakhon Si Thammarat prison, after his arrest on suspicion of acquiring great wealth helping inmates carry out their illegal drug business. NUCHAREE RAKRUN

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Prison drug business: High risk, higher pay

If you ever wonder why people get into the risky illegal drug business, the answer is simple. The pay can be good, very good.

Even when a major drug dealer goes to prison, there is a lot of business that can be done there, thanks to some cooperative prison officials who themselves become quite rich in the process. Just how rich is now becoming clear as police continue their crackdown on the prison drug trade.

Yesterday, police arrested a recently sacked Nakhon Si Thammarat Prison warder, seizing assets worth more 14 million baht, suspected to have been acquired using drug money.

Natthapol Raya, 37, was detained along with his wife Pornrujee Raya, 36, and Sakaoduen Thipkaew, 25, who was allegedly hired by the couple to open bank accounts to receive money from the sale of illicit drugs, local police said.

The suspects were wanted by the Office of the Narcotics Control Board (ONCB) for alleged involvement in the drug trade.

Mr Natthapol was dismissed as a warder several weeks ago over his alleged role in helping prison inmates in the drug trade.

Police seized from Mr Natthapol a townhouse worth 1.6 million baht, a house worth 3.4 million baht, three vehicles worth more than 3.5 million baht, three bank accounts with about 6 million baht in them, some weapons and expensive furniture.

The assets were seized in different locations in Khanom, Hua Sai, Chawang and Muang districts connected to Mr Natthapol by a combined team of Nakhon Si Thammarat police and ONCB officers.

Adapted from a story in today’s Bangkok Post by Nucharee Rakrun.

warder – someone whose job is to guard prisoners in a prison ผู้คุม
arrest – (of the police) taking someone to a police station because they are believed to have committed a crime การจับกุม
suspicion – a belief that a crime has been committed ความสงสัย
wealth – a large amount of money, property, etc. that a person or country owns ความมั่งคั่ง
inmate – someone who is kept in a prison, mental hospital or other institution นักโทษ
illegal – against the law ผิดกฎหมาย, นอกกฎหมาย
risk – the possibility that something dangerous or unpleasant might happen ความเสี่ยง
dealer – a person who sells (illegal drugs in this case) ผู้จำหน่าย
cooperative – willing to do what you ask them ให้ความร่วมมือ
in the process – while carrying out a series of actions to do or make something ในกระบวนการ
crackdown – strong action that someone in authority takes to stop a particular activity การปราบ
trade –  a type of business การค้าขาย
sack – to remove someone from a job ปลดออกจากตำแหน่ง
seize assets – to officially take away things own by a person or organisation, e.g., money, equipment, property, etc. ยึดหรืออายัดทรัพย์สิน
suspected – thought to have done something wrong เป็นที่สงสัย
detained – kept in a place and not allowed to leave กักตัว ควบคุมตัวหรือฝากขัง
allegedly – claimed to have done something wrong, but not yet proven ที่กล่าวหา
hire – to pay someone to work for you, especially for a short time จ้าง
the couple – two people who are married or are involved in a romantic relationship คู่แต่งงานกัน, คุ่รัก
illicit – against the law ผิดกฎหมาย
local – in or related to the area that you live, or to the particular area that you are talking about  ท้องถิ่น
narcotics – illegal drugs such as heroin, cocaine or crystal methamphetamine  ยาเสพย์ติด
involvement – the act or process of taking part in something การเกี่ยวข้อง
dismiss – to force someone to leave their job  ไล่ออกจากตำแหน่ง
role – the purpose or influence of someone or something in a particular situation บทบาท
location – where someone or something is ที่ตั้ง,ทำเล
combined – joint; done together; belonging to or shared between two or more people ที่ร่วมกัน, ร่วมมือกัน

Related search: prison drug trade, Nakhon Si Thammarat prison

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