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Alleged drug runner busted with methamphetamines valued at 18 million baht




Police in Issan’s Maha Sarakham province yesterday announced the seizure of more than 600,000 methamphetamine pills from an alleged drug runner making deliveries. Officers stopped and searched a man seen tossing a plastic bag from his car, and more more than 600,000 methamphetamine pills were found in more bags inside the vehicle. 43 year old Somphan Sri-ubon was arrested after police stopped his car at an intersection in Kantharawichai district on Monday.

The arrest came after investigators were tipped off that drugs were being delivered regularly along the province’s Kalamasai-Kalasin road. Police teams were assigned to stake out and patrol the route. One team spotted the driver of a Mitsubishi slowing down about 10 kilometres from the downtown district of Kalasin. The driver threw a black plastic bag into some bushes on the roadside and drove away.

The bag contained 2,000 meth pills. Officers radioed another team to intercept the Mitsubishi. After stopping car police discovered several fertiliser bags containing a large amount of methamphetamine.

Including the 2,000 found on the roadside in Kalasin, a total of 610,000 meth pills were seized. Police valued the drugs at about 18 million.

Upon interrogation, Somphan reportedly confessed that he had collected the drugs at Wat Phum Manorom about 6:30am. He was meant to deliver the methamphetamine pills to 4 locations in Roi Et, Kalasin, Maha Sarakham and Khon Kaen provinces.

Somphan said a Lao drug trader offered him 140,000 baht for the job, to be paid after he completed the deliveries. The Bangkok Post reports that police have extended their investigation based on Somphan’s information.

The regional methamphetamine epidemic has ravaged Thailand as prices are at an all-time low. It now costs as little as 40 baht to buy a pill,  down from 200-300 baht a few years ago.

SOURCES: Chiang Rai Times | Bangkok Post


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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

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