Police seized assets worth almost 100 million baht from a drug network following the arrest of its leader and seven associates in Pathum Thani and Yala provinces.
Pol Lt Gen Jirabhob Bhuridej, chief of the Central Investigation Bureau (CIB), said on Wednesday that alleged gang leader Charoen Rattanawan, 32, and the seven other suspects were arrested at six locations in Pathum Thani and one in Yala on Tuesday.
They were wanted under arrest warrants issued by the Yala Provincial Court on charges of supporting or helping those involved in drug trafficking and colluding in money laundering, the CIB chief told reporters.
During the raids, police seized 80,000 methamphetamine pills and nine guns, including war weapons, and 262 rounds of ammunition. Authorities also impounded, for examination, assets with a combined worth of almost 100 million baht. They included apartments, a car garage, 27 cars and three motorcycles, Pol Lt Gen Jirabhob said.
Mr Charoen, alias Jack Sam Mor, allegedly ordered his associates to open bank accounts to receive money transfers from the drug trade. This money was later transferred to other bank accounts of other network members. The suspects allegedly sent parcels containing drugs to customers via private logistics firms.
Crime Suppression Division (CSD) sub-division 6 commander Pol Col Pongpanot Chukaew said Mr Charoen and the other suspects had moved to Pathum Thani province and set up businesses including rental apartments, a racing car garage and a marijuana café as fronts for the illegal drug trade. The gang also sold illegal cars, he said.
The suspects had rented apartment rooms in nearby areas for many years to store illicit drugs pending delivery to customers. They had acquired assets worth about 100 million baht with profits from illegal trading in drugs, Pol Col Pongpanot said.
During questioning, all suspects confessed to the charges, according to police. They were handed over to CSD investigators for legal proceedings.