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Police seize property valued at 200 million baht from suspected hill tribe drug gang – VIDEO

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PHOTO: Line Today

Anti-narcotics police in 4 provinces seized property valued at around 200 million baht from a suspected drug trafficking gang…  mostly northern hill tribe people, in coordinated raids yesterday. 30 targets in Bangkok and Hua Hin, as well as in northern and southern provinces, were raided by armed officers. 24 houses, 5 shophouses, 12 land title deeds, 22 cars and 27 motorcycles were impounded.

With a search warrant, police searched a large house in Hua Hin, allegedly owned by a female hill tribe member named Wanpen Sattunyakul, and found more than 10 other tribe members living there. All of them reportedly claimed they had opened souvenir shops in Hua Hin and denied any involvement in the illicit drugs trade.

Police say Wanpen was arrested in 2016 and her property impounded, for alleged connections to a drug trafficking gang, who had already been arrested. Due to insufficient evidence, she was later released and her property was returned. This time, police believe they have enough evidence to implicate her and her relatives.

The director of the 6th region of the Office of the Narcotics Control Board says the alleged drug gang comprises mainly related hill tribe people. The gang’s leader reportedly has several mistresses, who open shops to sell clothes and souvenirs to tourists as a way to launder the drug money.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

 

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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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