Cops nab K-drug 'mastermind'

Cops nab K-drug 'mastermind'

Chou Yi Shen, 38, is arrested at a condominium in the Sukhumvit area yesterday. Seized from the property were large quantities of drugs and sleeping pills believed to have been used in making the 'k-powdered milk' cocktail. Also found was drug-making equipment, including two blenders with drug-like residue and two digital scales. police photos
Chou Yi Shen, 38, is arrested at a condominium in the Sukhumvit area yesterday. Seized from the property were large quantities of drugs and sleeping pills believed to have been used in making the 'k-powdered milk' cocktail. Also found was drug-making equipment, including two blenders with drug-like residue and two digital scales. police photos

A big-time Taiwanese drug dealer was yesterday arrested in Bangkok's Sukhumvit area for allegedly being involved in the distribution of "k-powdered milk" (k-nom pong), the popular yet lethal drug cocktail that has killed at least 10 people.

The man, later named as Chou Yi Shen, is a 38-year-old Taiwanese, nicknamed "Lupin Taiwan" for his elusiveness. Lupin references a character in a Japanese animated film.

Mr Chou was arrested at a luxury condominium in the Asoke Montri area and a quantity of drugs and equipment seized from his four properties there.

National police chief Pol Gen Suwat Jangyodsuk and high-ranking police officials yesterday inspected the scene where he was arrested and questioned him.

Pol Gen Suwat said Mr Chou faced a string of charges, including attempting to export and possessing narcotic drugs for sale, using methamphetamine and illegally possessing a gun and ammunition.

Drug-mixing paraphernalia and controlled substances were found in his room, including 4kg of ketamine, 376 ecstasy pills, 4kg of crystal methamphetamine, 8kg of heroin, 11.6 grammes of cocaine, 48 sheets of LSD, two boxes of the sedative dormicum and 265 sleeping pills.

Ketamine-powdered milk -- or "k-nom pong" -- has made national headlines after seven people were killed by it on Jan 10 in the Wat Phraya Krai riverside area. The same drug cocktail later claimed four more lives.

Narcotics police in Mr Chou's case first confiscated k-nom pong in October last year. The drug was hidden in a parcel bound for the United Arab Emirates and had been sent under a fake name.

Police examined CCTV footage, which pointed to the culprit being of Chinese descent. Police later found that he stayed in Bangkok at many luxury condominiums in the Lumpini, Rama IX, Town In Town, Ramkhamhaeng and Sukhumvit areas.

Mr Chou has allegedly admitted to being the suspicious man in the CCTV footage and that he was a drug dealer for foreigners. Police say he told them he had fled from Taiwan to Thailand with a fake passport after the Taiwanese government issued an arrest warrant for him for possessing and exporting drugs.

He is also said to have admitted producing his own k-nom pong concoction, made from ketamine, ecstasy and sleeping pills.

Sources said his drug cocktail was exported to other countries using the dark web and Bitcoin. It was sold also to Thais and foreigners online.

Mr Chou was quoted saying that he thought police would never catch him. That was why he was dubbed the "Lupin Taiwan", sources said.

Last Monday, the Metropolitan Police Bureau arrested Amornthep Chalermwat, alias Un Kiwi, 33, at a room in Bung Sam Phan district, Phetchabun. He was believed to be the mastermind in mixing the drug cocktail linked to multiple deaths in the Wat Phraya Krai area.

Metropolitan police chief Pol Lt Gen Pakkapong Pongpetra said Mr Amornthep denied producing the drug, saying he had only been a distributor, acting as a middleman between the supplier and the customers.

Wasan Khiaohom, 41, a drug dealer reportedly also selling k-powdered milk was last Tuesday shot dead in Nakhon Pathom during a shootout with police.

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