Party cops drug case flak
The Narcotics Suppression Bureau (NSB) has solid evidence to prove involvement of a former Seri Ruam Thai Party candidate in the Taiwanese drug network busted on June 15, said Pol Maj Gen Phonchai Charoenwong, deputy commissioner of the bureau.
Police are now seeking arrest warrants for another four suspects in the case, he said.
Suban Mahachanon, a former list candidate of the party, was detained by the police in connection with the seizure of 985 kilogrammes of crystal methamphetamine, with a street value of about 2 billion baht, found in a cargo container awaiting shipment to the Philippines.
He was among the first four suspects, two Thai nationals and two Taiwanese nationals, to be arrested. Mr Suban was nabbed after police had pursued this particular Taiwanese drug network for some time and found him to be involved, said Pol Maj Gen Phonchai. The drug was located in Si Racha district of Chon Buri, inspected and seized after it had missed a ship to the Philippines, he said.
Seri Ruam Thai Party leader Sereepisuth Temeeyaves, however, defended Mr Suban, saying he should be treated as innocent until found guilty.
The former national police chief's comment sparked criticism. Thanakon Wangbunkhongchana, deputy spokesman of the Palang Pracharath Party, said the case involved a huge amount of drugs, which made Pol Gen Sereepisuth's sceptical remarks hard to believe.
"It's extremely irresponsible for him [Pol Gen Sereepisuth] to say that everyone should wait until all three courts rule [before Mr Suban is regarded as a culprit]," said Srisuwan Janya, secretary-general of the Association to Protect the Thai Constitution.
Pol Gen Sereepisuth said if the prosecution opts to have Mr Suban indicted, the party may consider ousting him from the party.