B120m of 'drug lord' assets seized

Authorities yesterday seized 120 million baht worth of assets belonging to a major drug suspect in Prachuap Khiri Khan who runs a luxury resort that is thought to be a front for illicit activities.

The seizure was made in a sting operation led by local police and officers from the Office of the Narcotics Control Board.

ONCB secretary-general Pongsapat Pongcharoen said his office will work further with local authorities to arrest members of the drug gang linked to the resort and seize their assets.

Yesterday's operation followed the arrest of Chairat "Ut" Nuthong, 50, by police on Tuesday.

The suspect was lured into selling methamphetamine to undercover officers in Pran Buri district, police said.

Police found the man had allegedly hidden 6,000 speed pills in his car and another 1,000 pills in his room in Kinnari Resort and Spa. The resort was one of his assets seized yesterday.

According to investigators, Mr Chairat had bought the drugs from the town of Tachilek in Myanmar opposite Chiang Rai's Mae Sai district.

He then stuffed the drug in herbal packs before selling them to customers to avoid police searches, Pol Gen Pongsapat said.

Pol Gen Pongsapat said the man also possessed documents explaining how to produce methamphetamine.

Officers are investigating whether Mr Chairat may have been planning to produce methamphetamine pills himself, the ONCB chief said.

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Writer: Chaiwat Satyaem
Position: Reporter