Three Nigerians and Two Thais have been arrested on suspicion of involvement in transnational cocaine trafficking.
Police confiscated 413.29 grammes of cocaine worth more than 1 million baht when they made the arrests. They were jointly conducted by the Central Investigation Bureau (CIB), immigration police, Anti-Trafficking in Persons Division (ATPD) and soldiers.
The three Nigerian men were identified as Daniel Onyekachukwu Ngwu, 40, Alfred Divine Chika, 38, and Gabriel Obidimma Obiechefu, 37. The two Thais were 43-year-old Kanyarat Hawakot and a 25-year-old man, Assadawut Mansom.
CIB commissioner Pol Lt Gen Jirabhop Bhuridej said yesterday the suspects were arrested in a sting operation. Police learned the three Nigerians had illegally entered the country and set up their own network in the kingdom.
They attempted to marry Thai women to use them as tools for drug trafficking to distribute drugs to both Thai and foreign customers -- mostly celebrities-- in various entertainment venues in Bangkok.
Besides using women for drug trafficking, the group would also hide drugs in their luggage or even swallow the drugs to avoid the eye of authorities at the airport.
Pol Lt Gen Jirabhop told the investigation team to lure the group into the open, which led to the arrests in the Phra Khanong and Klong Tan areas. All confessed they had been doing it for 4-5 years. All faced a charge of possessing cocaine with intent to distribute, while the three Nigerians faced an additional charge of illegal entry.
Police are tracking down their accomplices, he added.