Police seize 30kg of crystal meth at sea

Police seize 30kg of crystal meth at sea

SATUN: The province's Marine Police arrested the captain of a fishing boat who was found on the Andaman Sea with 30 kilogrammes of crystal methamphetamine, with a street value of about 6 million baht.

Deputy superintendent of the 9th Marine Police Division, Banjerd Manavej, said he was alerted by Satun border police about a drug smuggling attempt on Satun's waters.

Pol Lt Col Banjerd said he ordered his inspector, Pol Lt Col Sirodom Sanundee, to take charge of the operation, where he led a team of police to patrol the waters off Satun's coast, which borders Malaysia.

While inspecting a channel between Tarutao Island and Langkawi Island in Malaysia, officials spotted a boat named Kor Niyomsin which matched the description circulated by Satun border police, he said.

Officers then proceeded to board the boat, where they found 29 bags of crystal meth, or "ice", weighing 30kg in total.

The suspect, identified as Jarae Haechoo, told police that he and two other friends had gone out to fish when they found the bags floating in the water. He gave half of what they found to his friends -- who immediately quit their jobs and returned to shore -- while he kept his share with him as he continued fishing out at sea, police said.

Police are investigating if the crystal meth was linked to a 500-million-baht drug haul that was found in a mangrove forest in the province last year, Pol Lt Col Banjerd said.

He said traffickers are now moving their narcotics through Satun, as the coastal province offers easy access to international waters.

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