Cough syrup seized before reaching South

Cough syrup seized before reaching South

Police show some of the cough suppressants seized from the truck of driver Apinant Kuenoon, centre, at a checkpoint in Chumphon province on Saturday. (Narcotics Suppression Bureau photo)
Police show some of the cough suppressants seized from the truck of driver Apinant Kuenoon, centre, at a checkpoint in Chumphon province on Saturday. (Narcotics Suppression Bureau photo)

CHUMPHON: Police have seized 54,000 bottles of cough syrup from a truck that was transporting them to the southern border provinces where many young people mix the product with kratom leaves to get high.

Apinant Kuenoon, a native of Trang province, was arrested at a checkpoint on Phetkasem Highway in Chumphon at about 11pm on Thursday with the cargo in his 10-wheeled truck registered in Trang.

He was delivering 3,200 litres of liquid cough suppressants to Nakhon Si Thammarat province without a licence to possess or transport them, so the cargo was impounded, Pol Col Wachara Thipmongkol, a deputy commander of the Narcotics Suppression Bureau, said on Saturday.

The driver was quoted as saying that a woman identified as "Jae Jim" had hired him for 13,000 baht to transport the cargo from Sap Sawang Co in Bang Bon district of Bangkok, and she promised to clear his way with police.

After the arrest, the woman allegedly telephoned an officer on the arrest team and offered a bribe of 450,000 baht. She was advised to wire the money to an officer's account. The money was then impounded.

Pol Col Wachara said that the cough suppressants were to be sold to young people in southern border provinces, who mix them with kratom leaves.

The medicine would be resold at prices 4-6 times higher than market prices in Bangkok, he said. He estimated the value of the impounded cargo at 500,000 baht but said the retail price in the far South would be millions of baht.

Police charged the truck driver with illegal possession of restricted medicine and bribery, and are hunting for the woman behind the shipment.


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