Nigerian nabbed for hiring drug mules
A 34-year-old Nigerian man who hired Thai women as mules to smuggle drugs overseas has been arrested, Immigration Bureau (IB) chief Surachate Hakparn announced at a press conference Monday.
Lt Gen Surachate said that Paul Smith Brown was arrested after he contacted an aide who turned out to be a police informant to help him smuggle drugs overseas.
Mr Brown met the informant in front of a shopping mall in Samut Prakan's Phra Pradaeng district on Saturday and went straight to a hotel in Suk Sawat Soi 64, he said.
As soon as they arrived, officers raided the hotel room and found 324 grammes of crystal meth, or ya ice, wrapped and stuffed inside socks, said Lt Gen Surachate.
Officers then took the suspect to his condominium in Bangkok's Rat Burana district for a further search, where they found a digital weighing scale that was used to weigh drugs, according to the IB chief.
Mr Brown was also unable to present a passport or any identification documents, Pol Lt Gen Surachate said.
He faces charges of unlawfully possessing Type-1 drugs and illegally entering the country, he added.
During the press conference, Pol Lt Gen Surachate also announced the arrest of a 38-year-old Italian man wanted for tax evasion in his home country.
He said Thai authorities were contacted by the Italian embassy to help apprehend Federico Mole, who fled to Thailand after he allegedly falsified invoices to avoid tax payments, causing state losses equivalent to about 150 million baht.
Pol Lt Gen Surachate said Mr Mole was arrested at a building in the Pathumwan area.
Mr Mole's permit to stay in this country has been revoked and he will be deported to Italy, the Immigration Bureau chief added.