Laos-link drug bust: Thai police seize 100,000 illicit tablets in holy heist

Picture courtesy of KhaoSod.

Police today swooped to arrest a group of drug traffickers operating between Thailand and Laos and confiscated over 100,000 tablets of illicit substances. The operation unveiled a drug trafficking route originating from neighbouring Laos, with deliveries strategically timed before Buddhist holy days, as Laotians traditionally abstain from immoral activities on such sacred occasions.

The arrest operation, led by Rutthaphon Naowarat, the head of Buriram Provincial Police, Narongsak Phromtha, the deputy head of Buriram Provincial Police, and Kongchat Lueangsomthap, another deputy head of Buriram Provincial Police, took place today.

The meticulously planned drug bust was executed under the guidance of Wichan Krachangpoth, deputy director of Buriram Provincial Police and head of the narcotics suppression unit. This operation saw the collaboration of multiple units, including soldiers from the 22nd Special Warfare Group, Suranaree Task Force, the Royal Thai Army, the 26th Special Forces Regiment, and administrative officers from Mueang Buriram, Satuek, and Ban Dan districts, in addition to Buriram Provincial Police.

Their collective efforts were aimed at dismantling a drug trafficking network intending to smuggle narcotics from Laos into Buriram province.

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The operation resulted in the successful dismantling of four drug trafficking networks. The first network involved two 19 year old individuals from Buriram province, who were found in possession of 1,934 methamphetamine tablets. The second network implicated three males aged 17, 18, and 21, also from Buriram, who were apprehended with a staggering 100,000 methamphetamine tablets in the Satuek district of Buriram while attempting to evade authorities by escaping into the Mun River.

The third network led to the arrest of two Buriram men, aged 23 and 25, found in possession of 85,980 methamphetamine tablets and 959 grams of crystal methamphetamine in the Mueang district of Buriram. The fourth network involved an unnamed 35 year old man from Buriram who was seized with 20,000 methamphetamine tablets in the Satuek district of Buriram.

In total, this operation resulted in the dismantling of four drug trafficking networks, the arrest of eight individuals across four cases, and the seizure of 207,914 methamphetamine tablets and 959 grams of crystal methamphetamine. All accused face charges of “jointly distributing category 1 narcotics (methamphetamine or meth), selling without permission, causing the spread among the public, and consuming category 1 narcotics (methamphetamine or meth) in violation of the law.”

Rutthaphon Naowarat, head of Buriram Provincial Police, emphasised that drug suppression operations are an ongoing endeavour that requires cooperation from various government agencies, each providing valuable information and resources.

Regarding this specific operation, it was revealed that all units had intelligence suggesting that narcotics would be transported from a neighbouring country between September 6 and 8. Consequently, a task force was assembled on September 7, as September 8 marked a Buddhist holy day when Laotians observe moral conduct.

To capitalise on this, 100,000 methamphetamine tablets were delivered on the night of September 7 and stored in Maha Sarakham province. The contraband was subsequently collected by Buriram-based drug traffickers and led to their arrests in the Satuek district of Buriram.

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Nattapong Westwood

Nattapong Westwood is a Bangkok-born writer who is half Thai and half Aussie. He studied in an international school in Bangkok and then pursued journalism studies in Melbourne. Nattapong began his career as a freelance writer before joining Thaiger. His passion for news writing fuels his dedication to the craft, as he consistently strives to deliver engaging content to his audience.

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