Cops nab family for trafficking 'ya ice'
A family of three have been arrested for allegedly possessing and trafficking methamphetamine tablets with the drug money financing a water purification business, according to the Office of the Narcotics Control Board (ONCB).
The family members, identified only as Sukhee, 59, Boonchan, 58, and their daughter, Maneerat, 36, were arrested at their house in Sri Songkhram district of Nakhon Phanom on Monday.
They were implicated by drug suspects caught by the authorities in two drug trafficking cases in Prachuap Khiri Khan and Songkhla.
In the Prachuap Khiri Khan case, four suspects were apprehended with 40,000 meth pills and 2kg of crystal meth, or ya ice, in their possession on Nov 12 last year.
In the Songkhla case, police apprehended two suspects and confiscated from them 600,000 meth pills contained in plastic barrels buried in the back of a house.
Suspects in the two cases told police they were hired by Mr Sukhee to deliver the drugs to customers.
According to the ONCB, Mr Sukhee had secured supplies of the illicit drugs from a neighbouring country and he sometimes delivered them to customers himself. The authorities traced the money trail and found Mr Sukhee's drug network had about 20 million baht in circulation.
An in-depth investigation confirmed Mr Sukhee used to be heavily in debt. His family suddenly became rich three years ago from apparently doing nothing for a living but farming.
The family is in the process of applying for a licence to open a water purification factory.
The ONCB added the family also owned three large houses and vast tracts of land including an oil palm farm.
Mr Sukhee denied knowing drug suspects in the two cases. Ms Maneerat insisted she had nothing to do with drugs and explained she used money she earned from selling insurance policies in Bangkok to open the water purification business.