Myanmar hands over 'most wanted' drug suspect

Myanmar hands over 'most wanted' drug suspect

Wanted in two major drug cases, 'Bang Lai' had escaped a Thai jail once before and fled to Myanmar

Drug suspect Thawatchai “Bang Lai” Aomchompoo is interrogated by Narcotics Suppression Bureau officers on Friday. (Photo supplied)
Drug suspect Thawatchai “Bang Lai” Aomchompoo is interrogated by Narcotics Suppression Bureau officers on Friday. (Photo supplied)

Myanmar police on Friday handed over one of Thailand’s most wanted drug suspects Thawatchai Aomchompoo, alias Bang Lai, to their Thai counterparts.

Mr Thawatchai had been hiding and operating a drug smuggling network in Tachileik, the Myanmar border town opposite Chiang Saen district of Chiang Rai, according to the Narcotics Suppression Bureau (NSB).

Wanted by Thai police in at least two major cases, Mr Thawatchai is facing charges of colluding to possess narcotic drugs and money laundering, said Pol Lt Gen Sarayut Sanguanphokhai, the NSB chief, who took the suspect from Myanmar authorities at the border checkpoint in Mae Sai on Friday.

“Mr Thawatchai is an important drug dealer behind several drug gangs active in Phatthalung and other southern provinces and he has been also involved in the smuggling of drugs from Myanmar into Thailand before they were smuggled on to a third country,” said Pol Lt Gen Sarayut.

According to a police source, Mr Thawatchai was first arrested in Myanmar in 2020 and handed over to Thai authorities.

He ended up in jail for only 14 days before escaping and fleeing back to Myanmar.

In 2017, Mr Thawatchai was named as one of the drug dealers in Tachileik who helped three female suspects who killed and dismembered a karaoke bar worker in Khon Kaen before fleeing to Myanmar, said Pol Lt Gen Sarayut.

The three were Preeyanuch “Preaw” Nonwangchai, 24; Kawita “Earn” Ratchada, 25; and Apiwan “Jae” Sattayabundit, 28. They killed 22-year-old Warisara Klinjui on May 23, 2017 and were later caught and convicted.

 Narcotics Suppression Bureau officers examine documents related to the handover of drug suspect Thawatchai Aomchompoo (right). (Photo supplied)


Do you like the content of this article?
COMMENT (2)

Russian 'forever'

Vladimir Putin formally annexes four occupied regions in Ukraine “forever” and repeats warnings that Russia will use all available means to defend the territories.

30 Sep 2022

Activists call for major anti-Prayut rally on Saturday

Pro-democracy protest leaders have called for people to wear black for seven days and to rally at Victory Monument on Saturday to express their rejection of the Constitutional Court ruling that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha's term has not reached its eight-year limit.

30 Sep 2022

Pheu Thai disagrees with Prayut ruling

The opposition Pheu Thai Party has expressed disagreement with the reasoning behind the Constitutional Court ruling that Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha’s tenure as prime minister did not begin until 2017.

30 Sep 2022