Police bust 3 major drug networks

Police bust 3 major drug networks

Cars and other assets are seized from three major drug networks in three northern provinces. (Photo: Chinnawat Singha)
Cars and other assets are seized from three major drug networks in three northern provinces. (Photo: Chinnawat Singha)

Three major drug networks have been busted in separate crackdowns in three lower northern provinces, with confiscated drug assets altogether amounting to 30.5 million baht.

Pol Col Sarawut Khonyai, deputy commander for investigation at the Provincial Police Region 6, on Tuesday said the crackdowns were conducted in Tak, Phitsanulok and Sukhothai starting on Monday as part of the policy to suppress drug networks during the Covid-19 outbreak.

The first crackdown in Tak came after police expanded their investigation from previous drug cases in the past three years. One case in October 2019 saw the confiscation of 1.5 tonnes of crystal meth or “Ya Ice” at the Ban Huai Ra-u security checkpoint. Two other cases took place in Bangkok; police arrested Lin Charl and seized assets worth 100 million baht in Min Buri district in December last year; and in Lat Phrao early this month, Panissara Sirikorntraiwit was nabbed by police who also seized 100 kilogrammes of ya ice and ketamine from her.

The the drug cases were linked to the chief of Phop Phra tambon administrative organisation (TAO), identified as Wichit Arphonrungroj. Afterwards, four warrants were issued for Mr Wichit's arrest and other accomplices who are relatives of Ms Panissara. So far, police managed to arrest one relative while Mr Wichit is on the run.

In Phitsanulok, police arrested Apirak Kaewphet, 20, from Uthai Thani, on the charge of selling narcotics drugs via a Facebook page called “Phee Laem Pilok”. Police found suspicious financial transactions involving Mr Apirak. According to investigators, at least 20 million had been wired to one of his bank accounts. Mr Apirak was unable to explain the source of the money. 

In Sukhothai, police confiscated two million baht's worth of assets suspected of having been acquired by Piyanat Katchamat, a native of Phichit, using drug money.

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