B70m ya ice seized, 3 arrested in Bangkok, Nakhon Phanom

B70m ya ice seized, 3 arrested in Bangkok, Nakhon Phanom

Assawin Srimuang, 21, right, his 17-year-old brother wearing a crash helmet, and some 3kg of
Assawin Srimuang, 21, right, his 17-year-old brother wearing a crash helmet, and some 3kg of "ya ice" are taken for a media briefing in Nakhon Phanom on Saturday. (Photo by Pattanapong Sripiachai)

Police seized 24 kilogrammes of crystal methamphetamine worth 70 million baht and arrested three men in two separate raids in Bangkok and Nakhon Phanom, police said on Friday.

In Bangkok, Arlae Sae Woo, 30, a Chiang Rai native, was apprehended in Lat Phrao district with 21kg of crystal methamphetamine, Pol Maj Gen Ronnasil Poosara, deputy chief of Provincial Police Region 1 said during a news conference today.

Police posing as customers had contacted Mr Arlae to buy illicit drugs following information that a drug-trafficking gang from the North would smuggle narcotics to him to distribute in the capital and surrounding provinces.

When Mr Arlae arrived on a motorcycle at the entrance of Soi Nak Niwas 49 on Thursday afternoon allegedly to deliver the drugs, police arrested him. His bag containing two kilos of ya ice was seized.

The officers then took the suspect to search his room at the Tamnak Thong apartments at nearby Soi Nak Niwas 47 where they found 19 packs of crystal meth, each weighing a kilogramme. The seizure was worth about 63 million baht, police said.

The suspect's motorcycle, a mobile phone and four bank books were seized.

Police said Mr Arlae confessed he worked as a labourer in Bangkok before his friends introduced him to a Lisor tribal drug trafficker known only as Mr Meng. He claimed he had been paid 10,000 baht a month by the drug gang.

Police initially pressed charges of colluding in having illicit drugs in his possession with intent to sell against the suspect before handing him over to narcotics suppression officers for further action.

In Nakhon Phanom, two brothers were caught and 3.1kg of crystal meth seized, said police during a media briefing on Friday.

Assawin Srimuang, 21, and his 17-year-old brother were caught after police, armed with a court warrant, searched their house in Tha Uthen district and found the drugs with a face value of about 10 million baht.

Police said the suspects confessed they had been hired by a Lao drug trafficker to deliver illicit drugs to customers. The trafficker had contacted them over the phone to deliver the drugs and paid them 10,000 baht for each delivery, they said.

The two brothers claimed they entered the drug trade as they needed money to finance their personal expenses during the upcoming New Year festival.

Police would extend the investigation to find other gang members involved.

They said it was the largest seizure of crystal meth in the province this year. Crystal meth could fetch 3,000 baht per gramme.

Pol Maj Gen Thanpol Boriboon, chief of Nakhon Phanom police, on Saturda ordered police and relevant agencies to increase measures to stem the influx of illicit drugs and other contraband during the lead-up to the New Year festival.

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