Country's biggest source of illicit diet drugs purged

Country's biggest source of illicit diet drugs purged

Deputy national police chief Pol Gen Wirachai Songmetta elaborates on the operation of what he said the biggest illicit weight loss drug production racket in the country, at the Royal Thai Police Office in Bangkok on Sunday. (Photo by Apichit Jinakul)
Deputy national police chief Pol Gen Wirachai Songmetta elaborates on the operation of what he said the biggest illicit weight loss drug production racket in the country, at the Royal Thai Police Office in Bangkok on Sunday. (Photo by Apichit Jinakul)

The illegal weight loss drug production base raided in Kalasin province was the country's biggest, and police will find out if any of its products killed the mother of a five-month-old child last week, a deputy national police chief said.

Pol Gen Wirachai Songmetta told a press conference at the Royal Thai Police Office on Sunday that police had arrested all seven suspects in connection with the illegal weight loss drug factory, the largest one of its kind, in No Mon district of the northeastern province.

The arrested suspects were Wassapassorn Sulamnat, 52, the factory owner; her daughter, a pharmacist who had been disqualified due to a similar crime; four others who allegedly mailed drugs to online customers; and Anyamanee Heepkaeo, who allegedly opened a bank account to receive about 34 million baht from online buyers in the past year.

The factory was run by DD Cosmed Co and its products had been sold to 5,619 customers who ordered them through Facebook page Obe Care. The customers included Morakot Charoenkit, 30, of Ang Thong province, who delivered her first child five months ago and died last Wednesday. Reports said she had taken two sets of weight loss pills allegedly supplied by the producer shortly before her death.

Pol Gen Wirachai said that the suspects faced eight charges concerning the production of illegal weight loss drugs and attempts to destroy the products to avoid arrest. Police would find out if the woman in Ang Thong died from the drugs before deciding on any additional charge, he said.

The deputy national police chief said the drugs contained appetite suppressant Sibutramine, the excessive consumption of which can cause kidney failure and death.

He also said that the factory owner had produced Lyn weight loss products for prosecuted Magic Skin Co. The old factory was in Samut Sakhon province.

After police raided the facility, the owner set up the new factory in Kalasin, and it was the largest-capacity  illegal weight loss production base ever found, Pol Gen Wirachai said. The new factory was raided on Saturday. Police reportedly found about 10 million pills there.

He also said that police would conduct an investigation to see if any government official was behind the racket.


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