Police discover 5 million meth pills in Suphan Buri raid
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Police discover 5 million meth pills in Suphan Buri raid

drugs haul: Police inspect the huge haul of methamphetamine pills seized after a raid on a house in Suphan Buri.
drugs haul: Police inspect the huge haul of methamphetamine pills seized after a raid on a house in Suphan Buri.

Police have seized nearly 5 million methamphetamine pills, worth about 1 billion baht, from two men believed to be working for a man known as Joe Donsa, son of Joe Danchang, a major drug trader who was killed in 1996.

The real name of Joe Donsa is unknown, but an initial investigation found he is a "son of Joe Danchang", national police chief Chakthip Chaijinda told reporters yesterday.

Deputy national police chief Pol Gen Salang Bunnag led a team in 1996 to arrest the narcotics kingpin and five other drug suspects in Suphan Buri, which ended up with the controversial extrajudicial killing of all of them.

The latest operation occurred in the same province, when police officers arrested two aides of Joe Donsa at a house in U Thong district on Friday night.

The two suspects were identified as Kriangsak Wongsuwan, aka Mai Donsa, 22, and Wichian Netthong, 25.

The pair were nabbed by police as they sat in a parked truck in front of the house. An inspection found some 4.96 million speed pills hidden in the house, a CZ pistol and ammunition, police said.

The suspects allegedly told police they were hired by their boss "Joe" to sell the drugs in provinces in the Central Plains region. They said they had worked for Mr Donsa for five months already.

According to the investigation, the house was used to keep the drugs before they were sold in Suphan Buri and other nearby provinces, including Bangkok.

Officers suspect these drugs originated from the United Wa State Army in Myanmar and had been smuggled overland into northern Thailand before being moved south during the New Year festival, Pol Gen Chakthip said.

Traffickers were believed to have taken advantage of the large number of people travelling by road during the holiday period to escape detection, he said.

The confiscated speed pills were part of a huge amount of methamphetamine -- "more than 6 million pills" -- which was being distributed, Pol Gen Chakthip added.

Investigators are also probing whether a policeman had played a role in the trafficking because the seized CZ pistol is reported to belong to an officer attached to the Provincial Police Region 7, which supervises eight central and western provinces, including Suphan Buri.

In a related story, Chumphon police arrested four suspects, including a teenage boy, for allegedly transporting 10.4kg of heroin, worth about 25 million baht, thought to be destined for sale in the three southernmost provinces.

Their truck was stopped at a checkpoint while it was travelling through Ban Phala in the province's Pathiu district. An inspection found the heroin wrapped in 26 plastic bags hidden under the back seats of the vehicle.

Police charged driver Ibrohem Awae, 40, two women -- Nuratasshim Useng, 23, and Nurulhuda Wamae, 18, all from Narathiwat -- and a 16-year-old boy from Pattani, whose name was withheld, with possession of the drugs.

Mr Ibrohem allegedly admitted to police they had taken the heroin from Chiang Rai's Mae Sai district and were on their way to the far South.

Investigators are checking whether the gang also has a connection with a militant group in the insurgency-torn provinces of Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat.

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