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German fugitives to be extradited to face drug trafficking and production charges

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Photo via Thai Immigration Bureau

Thai police are expected to extradite the 2 Germans, who are suspected of being involved in a European drug cartel, back to their home country to face charges. Officials in Germany had filed an Interpol red notice requesting their arrest, and the German Embassy in Thailand alerted Thai Immigration Police. One was arrested in Phuket, and the other at a villa on Koh Pha Ngan, an island in the Gulf of Thailand off the coast of Surat Thani.

The suspects, 42 year old Alex Kartun, who holds dual German-Russian citizenship and is accused of being the leader of the gang, and 38 year old German national Alexander Wolfien, are allegedly involved in an illicit drug production and trafficking operation overseas. Apparently, the men fled to Thailand to avoid charges in Germany and have been living as fugitives for several years. They now face 14 charges relating to drug trafficking and 2 other charges relating to illicit drug production.

German officials say a psychoactive drug, like synthetic marijuana made from chemicals and herbs, was being trafficked to several European countries. Some people reportedly died sometime after using the drug. Around 20 people allegedly involved in the production and sale of the drug have been arrested in Germany.

Thai police recently raided a luxury villa on Koh Pha Ngan and arrested Kartun, the suspected leader of the European drug trafficking operation. Police also arrested a Russian man at the villa, 42 year old Victor Thubnikov, on charges of possession of marijuana.

In Phuket, police arrested Wolfien and seized more than 1 million baht in cash, luxury watches and ownership titles for land in Phuket and Koh Pha Ngan worth more than 10 million baht.

Kartun and Wolfien can challenge their extradition in Thai court. Reporters from the Associated Press were unable to reach the men and it’s unclear if they had legal representation.

SOURCE: Associated Press

 

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Local Thai journalist speaking fluent Thai and English. Tanutam studied in Khon Kaen before attending Bangkok’s Chulalongkhorn University.

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