'Facebook pot dealers' nabbed

'Facebook pot dealers' nabbed

Police have arrested a couple for allegedly selling marijuana on Facebook and seized five kilogrammes of compressed cannabis from their home in Nonthaburi.

Saroj Apaisawet, 26 and Nutcharee Khunprasert, 25, were arrested on Saturday afternoon by officers from Metropolitan Police Bureau Division 9, Manager Online reported.

Seized from the couple were five bars of compressed cannabis weighing about five kilogrammes, a scale and other drug-use paraphernalia, two books containing names of customers, and 200 empty postal parcel boxes.

The arrests followed an investigation into reports that a major dealer had been selling marijuana to customers via a Facebook page called "Original Weed" for more than a year, said Pol Col Pattana Preechanand, the Division 9 investigation chief.

People wanting to buy drugs were asked to send messages to the Facebook inbox. Customers were asked to transfer money to a bank account opened by the owner of the Facebook page. Drugs would then be delivered via registered parcel post.

Police monitoring the online drug trade eventually learned that Mr Saroj and Ms Nutcharee had opened the "Original Weed" page. The couple rented a house at the Chao Phraya 9 housing estate in Bang Yai district of Nonthaburi.

Ms Nutcharee was caught while driving a car to the Bang Yai post office on Saturday. Three parcels containing three bars of compressed cannabis were found in her sedan.

Police took her back to her house and found Mr Saroj resting on the second floor, where more cannabis and other items were seized.

Police said Mr Saroj told them that he and his wife had little education and few job prospects, so they had been supporting themselves by selling drugs online for more than a year. To attract customers, they posed messages "Organic marijuana 100% — will brighten up your lives. Let's try!" on the Original Weed page.

Mr Saroj reportedly told officers that he had bought the drugs from an unidentified woman for 9,000 baht a kilogramme. The woman delivered the drugs to a location in On Nut district of Bangkok after money had been transferred to her account.

He said he sold the drugs in 100-gramme packages for 1,300 baht each.

The couple have been charged with possession of 5th category drugs with the intent to sell. They were handed over to Bang Yai police station for further action.

Police said they would trace the supplier and also those who bought illicit drugs online from the suspects.

Officially, Facebook says it does not allow promotion of drugs including marijuana on its site even in areas where marijuana is legal.

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