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Police colonel caught smuggling drugs

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High-ranking police officer with outstanding drug-busting record arrested for smuggling 160 million baht of methamphetamines, receiving 6 million baht in exchange. 

The suitcases filled with drugs found in Pol Lt Col Chamnarn's Toyota Fortuner. (Photos by Cheewin Sattha)


Drug buster nabbed for smuggling drugs

Chewin Sattha and online reporters

CHIANG RAI — A police officer with an outstanding drug-busting record has been arrested for smuggling more than 160 million baht worth of methamphetamine pills and crystal methamphetamine.

Pol Lt Col Chamnarn Poompaijit, deputy chief of Chai Prakan police station' s crime suppression unit in Chiang Mai, was apprehended at a police checkpoint in Chiang Rai's Mae Sai district on Monday morning after a search of his Toyota Fortuner found 800,000 meth pills and a kilogramme of crystal meth in two large suitcases on the vehicle's back seat.

The street price of the drugs was estimated to be 164 million baht.

Mae Sai police said they erected a checkpoint after receiving an intelligence report that a drug gang would deliver a large number of drugs through the area under their supervision. The description of the suspect' s vehicle matched that of Pol Lt Col Chamnarn.

He was initially charged with possession of Type-1 drugs.

Pol Lt Col Chamnarn Poompaijit

They said the drug buster-turned-smuggler suspect tried to tell his colleagues at the checkpoint that he was in a hurry on a government mission and asked to be spared the search for illegal items.

Pol Lt Col Chamnarn has been known as one of the country's top drug busters. He made his name when he was stationed in Sop Prap district of Lampang province and led operations to arrest many drug traffickers of several rings.

Due to his outstanding performance, he was later transferred to Chiang Mai's Chai Prakan district to help intercept the smuggling of illicit drugs from Muang Yon on the Myanmar side of the border.

He regularly gave lectures on how to erect checkpoints and intercept drug smuggling to police officers under the Provincial Police Region 5.

Pol Lt Col Chamnarn confessed he had been offered 6 million baht in exchange for delivering the drugs for a gang of ethnic Tai Yai.

He took the offer because he had debts worth three million baht to settle. They consisted of loans borrowed from police cooperatives and monthly instalments for two houses.

The officer said he collected the drugs from Tesco Lotus hypermarket in Mae Sai to deliver them to Bangkok. 

Police Region 2 deputy chief Pol Maj Gen Damrongsak Kittiprapas temporarily removed Pol Lt Col Chamnarn from office pending further investigations into the case to identify more people involved in his drug network.

He said the police would hold a press conference on Pol Lt Col Chamnarn's case on Tuesday.


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arrest: (of the police or, in this case, soldiers) to take someone under control because they are believed to have committed a crime - จับกุม

border: the official line separating two areas, regions or countries - เขตแดน อาณาเขต

borrow: to take and use something that belongs to somebody else, and return it to them at a later time - ยืม

bust: to arrest someone, especially for offences relating to drugs, gambling, etc. - ถูกจับ, โดนจับกุม

case: a matter that is being officially investigated, especially by the police - คดี

charge: to accuse someone officially of committing a crime - ตั้งข้อกล่าวหา

checkpoint: a place where people are stopped and questioned and vehicles are examined, especially at a border between two countries - ด่านตรวจ

colleague: someone who works in the same organisation or department as you do - เพื่อนร่วมงาน

confess: to admit that you have committed a crime - สารภาพผิด

consist of: to be made of or formed from something - ประกอบด้วย

cooperative: a business or farm owned and run by the people involved, with the profits shared by them - สมาคมสหกรณ์

debt: an amount of money that you owe - หนี้, นี้สิน

deliver: to take goods, letters, etc. to the people they have been sent to - ส่ง

deputy: a person whose rank is immediately below that of the leader of an organisation - รอง

district: an area of a country or town, especially one that has particular features - เขต, บริเวณ, แขวง

drug buster: a police officer who makes drug arrests -

due to: because of - เนื่องจาก

erect: to put the parts of something together so that it stands upright - ตั้งขึ้น

ethnic: of a group of people with the same culture or traditions - กลุ่มชาติพันธุ์

gang: a group of criminals who work together; a group of young people who spend time together causing trouble - แก๊ง, กลุ่มโจร

hurry: going fast, doing something quickly - รีบ, รีบเร่ง, รีบไป

hypermarket: a very large supermarket, usually built outside a town, that sells a wide range of goods - ห้างสรรพสินค้า

identify: to recognise something and understand what it is - ระบุชื่อ

illegal: against the law - ผิดกฎหมาย, นอกกฎหมาย

illicit: against the law - ผิดกฎหมาย

in exchange for: giving something to someone and receiving something else from them of a similar type or value - แลกเปลี่ยน

initially: at the beginning - ในเบื้องต้น

instalment: one of many payments made every month to pay for something or pay back a loan - งวด, งวดเงินผ่อน, เงินผ่อน

intercept: to stop and catch something or someone before they are able to reach a particular place - สกัด

investigation: the process of trying to find out all the details or facts about something - การสอบสวน

item: a single article or object - รายการ, รายการสิ่งของ

lecture: to criticise somebody or tell them how you think they should behave, especially when it is done in an annoying way; to give a talk or a series of talks to a group of people on a subject, especially as a way of teaching in a university or college - สั่งสอน, ตักเตือน, บรรยาย

loan: an amount of money that a person, business, or country borrows, especially from a bank - เงินกู้

made his name: became famous, became well-known -

methamphetamine: a stimulant drug that increases alertness and energy, but which is dangerous when taken in large amounts or over a long period of time - ยาบ้า

mission: an important job, especially a military one, that someone is sent somewhere to do - ภาระกิจ, หน้าที่, งาน

network: a large system of connected parts, organisations, people, etc. - เครือข่าย

offer: to say that you are willing to do something for somebody or give something to somebody - อาสา, แสดงความเต็มใจ

operation: a planned activity involving a lot of people, especially soldiers or police officers - การปฏิบัติการ

outstanding: very good -

performance: how well someone does some task or activity; how well they achieve their goals - การปฏิบัติงาน, การทำให้บรรลุผลสำเร็จ

pill: a small flat round piece of medicine that you swallow without chewing it - ยาเม็ด

possession: having or owning something - การครอบครอง

press conference: an official meeting where someone makes a formal statement about a particular issue or event to journalists and answers their questions about it - การแถลงข่าว

province: on of many divisions of the government of a country into smaller parts - จังหวัด

provincial: related to "provinces" , the different parts of a country -

record: the list of things a person has achieved -

regularly: done or happening often, especially with the same time and space in between each activity and the next - เป็นประจำ, เสมอๆ

remove: to take something away - เอาออกจาก

ring: a group of people involved in an activity, especially an illegal one - กลุ่มคณะ

settle: to decide or arrange something - ตัดสินใจ

smuggling: secretly and illegally taking goods or people into or out of a country or place - การลักลอบ

smuggling: secretly and illegally taking goods or people into or out of a country - ลักลอบขนสินค้าหรือคนหรือสัตว์เข้าและออกจากประเทศอย่างผิดกฎหมาย

spare: to prevent someone from having to experience something unpleasant - ละเว้น, งดเว้น, ยกโทษให้,อภัยโทษ

station: to cause, especially soldiers, to be in a particular place to do a job - ตั้งฐานปฎิบัติการ,ตั้งประจำ

suitcase: a case with flat sides and a handle, used for carrying clothes, etc. when you are travelling - กระเป๋าเดินทาง

suspect: a person who is thought to have committed a crime - ผู้ต้องสงสัย

temporarily: for a limited period of time - ชั่วคราว

trafficker: someone in the business of buying and selling  things illegally or of illegally transporting people for work in other countries or areas - ผู้ลักลอบค้าสินค้าผิดกฎหมายหรือลักลอบขายแรงงานผิดกฎหมาย

transferred: changed someone’s job or responsibilities - โยกย้ายตำแหน่ง

worth: having a value in money, etc - มีค่า, มีมูลค่า

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