From Russia with blow: Cocaine bust nets three Nigerians

Picture courtesy of Immigration Bureau

A Russian man‘s arrest in Wichit for cocaine possession has led to the apprehension of three Nigerian nationals, identified as significant drug dealers in Phuket.

The Immigration Bureau announced these arrests during a press conference held yesterday in Bangkok. The operation began in early April following a tip-off regarding a 38 year old Russian national, referred to as Denis (not his real name), who was allegedly involved in vehicle rental, cryptocurrency exchange, and cocaine sales to foreigners at 4,000 baht (US$110) per gramme.

The police organised a sting operation, arranging to purchase cocaine from Denis. Upon his arrival at a petrol station in Wichit, officers arrested him, finding 0.99 grammes of cocaine in his possession. Denis was charged with illegal possession of a Category 2 narcotic (cocaine) for trade and causing public distribution.

Further investigation revealed that Denis had been purchasing cocaine from two foreign men for 3,000 baht (US$83) per gramme. Another sting operation was set up, and Denis arranged a meeting with these men in a hotel parking lot in Karon. When the suspects arrived in their red Mazda, officers moved in and arrested them.

A search of the vehicle uncovered 1.4 grammes of cocaine hidden on the driver’s side. The two men, identified as 40 year old Harrison (not his real name), and 41 year old Ogadinma (not his real name), both Nigerian nationals, were taken to Karon Police Station and charged with illegal possession of a Category 2 narcotic (cocaine) for trade and public distribution.

Investigators soon discovered that these Nigerian men were sourcing their drugs from another Nigerian national residing in a Chalong bungalow. Acting on a search warrant issued by Phuket Provincial Court, officers raided the bungalow and arrested 53 year old Solomon (not his real name).

Drug bust

Solomon admitted to selling drugs and led officers to his hidden stash, which included 855 ecstasy pills, 470 packets each containing one gramme of cocaine, and 127.8 grammes of crystal methamphetamine (ya ice). Officers also seized bankbooks believed to be linked to Solomon’s drug transactions, reported The Phuket News.

Solomon was taken to Chalong Police Station and charged with illegal possession of a Category 1 narcotic (ice and ecstasy) and a Category 2 narcotic (cocaine) for trade and public distribution. Additionally, he faced charges for illegal possession of a Category 2 psychotropic substance (ketamine) without permission, the Immigration Bureau stated.

“In Phuket, ecstasy pills sell for 1,000 baht to 2,000 baht (US$28 to US$55) each, and cocaine sells for 4,000 baht to 5,000 baht (US$110 to 140) per gramme, making the seized drugs worth approximately 4 million baht (US$110,800).”

In terms of assets seized, the car and cash amounted to about 900,000 baht (US$25,000), bringing the total value of the confiscated items to approximately 4.9 million baht (US$136,000).

“Solomon was considered a major drug dealer in the Phuket area. The drugs were sourced from Central Thailand and distributed to smaller dealers and users.”

Crime NewsPhuket News

Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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