Marijuana worth B9m seized

Marijuana worth B9m seized

Police on Saturday seized 614 kilogrammes of marijuana with a street value of more than 9 million baht and arrested a 34-year-old man in Chumphon.

Officers manning a checkpoint on Phetkasem Road in Pathiu district of the southern province made the discovery when they stoped a suspicious-looking pickup truck at about 11.30 am on Saturday. They found 648 bricks of marijuana wrapped in black plastic bags inside fertiliser sacks in the rear of the pickup, Manager Online reported.

The marijuana originally came from Laos and was smuggled across the Mekong River in Nong Khai province, police said. The seized drugs were worth more than 9 million baht.

Driver Somchai Ketsri, 34, a native of Phichit province, confessed his involvement in the operation, the officers added.

Police said Mr Somchai told them that he had been hired by a man identified only as Bank, the son of a bottled drinking water producer in Nakhon Pathom, for 50,000 baht to deliver the drugs to a dealer in Songkhla. Mr Bank paid him 30,000 baht in advance and the rest was to be paid after the drugs were delivered.

Two other men, identified only as Somkhid and Bao, travelled ahead of Mr Somchai in another pickup. Their job was to alert him if they spotted any police checkpoints.

Police said the arrest of the suspect followed information from a police informant that a drug smuggling gang was about to smuggle marijuana from the Northeast into the South. The drugs were believed to be destined for tourist destinations in southern provinces.

Police are now hunting for other members of the gang.

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