Myanmar extradites Thai drug dealer

A Thai man arrested on drug dealing charges in Yangon last year has been extradited to Thailand and taken into custody by the Office of the Narcotics Control Board (ONCB).

Somchai Rakyodying arrives at Suvarnabhumi Airport to face drug-related charges in Thailand.

Somchai Rakyodying is wanted under a warrant issued by the Chiang Mai Court for possession of pseudoephedrine above the maximum allowed by law.

Pseudoephedrine is a decongestant used in many over-the-counter cold medications. However, it can also be used as a precursor for the manufacture of methamphetamine.

Thailand in March last year banned pharmacies from selling pseudoephedrine-based medicines because of the problems with illicit use.

Mr Somchai arrived at Suvarnabhumi Airport on Thursday morning.

The Department of Special Investigation has agreed to investigate the case, said ONCB secretary-general Pongsapat Pongcharoen.

Mr Somchai was arrested in Yangon on Aug 8, 2012 and Thai officials went to question him in Myanmar. In February this year, the police searched his house in San Kamphaeng district of Chiang Mai and found 137,000 tablets of cold medications containing pseudoephedrine and large amount of empty packages.

A search at another house rented by Mr Somchai found another 10,000 cold pills in a parcel sent from Thong Saeng Khan Hospital in Uttaradit.

Pol Gen Pongsapat said the extradition of Mr Somchai was a good sign of progress in cooperation between the Thai and Myanmar authorities.

Thailand earlier sent an accused Myanmar drug dealer back to his home country to face prosecution there.

Related search: Myanmar, Narcotics Control Board, pseudoephedrine, methamphetamine

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