NAKHON PHANOM: Police arrested a drug courier and seized 470 kilogrammes of compressed marijuana worth about 10 million baht in Sri Songkhram district late on Thursday night.
Officers from Provincial Police Region 4 stopped a Mitsubishi Pajero with Saraburi licence plates for a search on the Hat Phaeng road. The vehicle was travelling from Ban Phaeng district, which borders the Mekong River and Laos.
Supicha Pannok, 26, of Nakhon Ratchasima, was detained after 11 sacks containing 470 slabs of compressed marijuana, each weighing one kilogramme, were found in his vehicle, Pol Maj Gen Natthanon Prachum, investigation chief of the Provincial Police Region 4, said at a media briefing on Friday.
During questioning, the suspect told police he was being paid 50,000 baht by an unidentified man in Bangkok to pick up the drugs in Ban Phaeng district. The marijuana had been smuggled across the river from Laos.
Police said the marijuana was worth at least 10 million baht and was destined for smuggling abroad.
Police said 2-3 tonnes of marijuana were being seized each month in this border province during the Covid-19 outbreak.
Also in Ban Phaeng district on Thursday night, rangers seized 500kg of compressed marijuana left in a rubber plantation near the Mekong River.
A total of 500 slabs of marijuana were inside 13 sacks found in the plantation in Pak Huay Muang village of tambon Nakhae, senior officers said during a media briefing on Friday. The marijuana would sell for 15,000-20,000 baht a kilo on the black market.
Seized compressed marijuana and the arrested SUV driver, seated and handcuffed, are shown during the media briefing on Friday. (Photo: Pattanapong Sripiachai)
Rangers display 500 packages of compressed marijuana seized near the Mekong River in Ban Phaeng district, Nakhon Phanom, at a media briefing on Friday. (Photo: Pattanapong Sripiachai)