Former election candidate gets 50 years for drug smuggling

Former election candidate gets 50 years for drug smuggling

Suban Mahachanon, left, a party-list candidate, with Seri Ruam Thai Party leader Sereepisuth Temeeyaves in June 2019. (File photo from Suban Mahachanon Facebook page)
Suban Mahachanon, left, a party-list candidate, with Seri Ruam Thai Party leader Sereepisuth Temeeyaves in June 2019. (File photo from Suban Mahachanon Facebook page)

The Criminal Court on Monday sentenced Suban Mahachanon, a former election candidate of the Seri Ruam Thai Party, to 50 years in jail for involvement in the attempted smuggling of 985 kilogrammes of crystal methamphetamine to the Philippines in June last year.

In the same case, the court sentenced two Chinese nationals - Huang Guoxiong, 25, and Zhou Qingchu, 45 - to life imprisonment, and another Thai man, Joi Sae Fong, 62, also to 50 years imprisonment.

Suban stood unsuccessfully as a candidate of the Seri Ruam Thai Party of Pol Gen Sereepisuth Temiyawes at the March 24, 2019 general election. He was on the party list. 

The four men were charged with having crystal methamphetamine, or ice, in their possession with intent to sell and trying to smuggle the drugs out of the country to the  Philippines.

Prosecutors told the court that the four defendants and other suspects still at large conspired to acquire 985 klogrammes of crystal meth and smuggle it out of Thailand and sell it. 

The two Chinese men concealed the drugs in packets labelled as Emperor brand tea that were placed in a container along with other goods, including 34 boxes of shoes and bags of chopsticks, for shipment to the Philippines.

The container was rented for this purpose by Suban and Joi.

Their plan was ruined by a fire at the Laem Chabang deep-sea port in Chon Buri that  engulfed many shipping containers, including the one with the drugs.

Officials who inspected the charred containers found the drugs.

A police investigation led to the arrest of the four defendants, who were handed over to the Narcotics Suppression Bureau, which filed the case against them with the Criminal Court.

The court initially sentenced the two Chinese men to death. The sentence was commuted to life.

Suban and Joi were each sentenced to life imprisonment. The sentence was reduced to 50 years in jail.

The reduction in sentences were due to their cooperation and useful testimony during the trial.

 


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