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Police arrest 4 more people suspected of trafficking ketamine-based drug cocktail

Caitlin Ashworth

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Police arrest 4 more people suspected of trafficking ketamine-based drug cocktail | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Matichon
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Police arrested 4 more people suspected of trafficking a ketamine-based drug cocktail which is said to be linked to 7 deaths in Bangkok. In the past few days, 17 people have reportedly required medical treatment after using narcotics, which police suspect is the drug cocktail known as “K powdered milk.”

Police say 6 people in the Wat Phraya Krai district died after consuming the drug cocktail on Sunday. Another person in the Sutthisan district died yesterday and police believe the death is also linked to the drug cocktail. The initial medical reports say the victims died from heart and respiratory failure, but results from toxicology testing have not been released yet.

A ketamine-based white powder was found near the dead victims, which police suspect is “K powdered milk.” A Police General Hospital physician tested 2 samples and says the tests detected ketamine, heroin, ecstasy and traces of the sleeping pill diazepam. The drugs are crushed together, resembling milk powder. Police say the narcotics are mixed to enhance the effects of ketamine.

In previous reports, police said the ketamine-based drug cocktail contained methamphetamine, heroin and traces of the sleeping pill ramelteon. A professor even claimed that “K powdered milk” also contains the drugs used in prison executions by lethal injection, but that claim has not been backed by an official drug analysis.

Some reports say people have lost consciousness after taking the drug, others report hallucinations. Thai PBS reports 17 people have required medical treatment after suspected use of “K powdered milk.” Urine samples were collected and results will be released in the next 3 to 5 days.

4 of the people seeking medical attention were admitted to a drug treatment centre while the others were discharged after being given medicine, according to the director of the Boromarajonani National Drug Addiction and Princess Mother National Institute on Drug Abuse Treatment.

The national police chief Suwat Jangyodsuk says officers are looking for the source of “K powdered milk” and says more suspects will be arrested.

Police recently arrested 4 suspected traffickers on charges of possessing and trafficking methamphetamine, heroin and ketamine. Some dealers are suspected of selling drugs at an entertainment venue in the Rama 3 area where a victim worked.

Police say 26 year old Wirat Kaphueak and 22 year old Watchara Chiangchin are believed to be small-scale dealers while the other suspects, 18 year old Chatree Srisombat and 26 year old Nopakao Obthom, are suspected to be middle-level traffickers.

A 23 year old woman in Bangkok’s Sai Mai area was also arrested yesterday after police received a tip that she was allegedly selling “K powdered milk.” Police say they searched Sirikarn Chuekhetkram’s pockets and found 3 small plastic bags containing a white powder. They found 3 more small bags in her bedroom. Police say the drug mixture contained ketamine and the sleeping pill ramelteon, which is prescribed under the brand name Rozerem.

The woman allegedly told police that she bought the drugs from a friend in Pathum Thani’s Lam Luk Ka district for 470 baht per gram and sold the drugs through Facebook for 600 baht per gram.

SOURCES: Bangkok Post | Thai PBS

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Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

Air Pollution

Bangkok’s air quality is ‘unhealthy’ today | VIDEO

The Thaiger

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Bangkok’s air quality is ‘unhealthy’ today | VIDEO | The Thaiger

Air quality around Bangkok this morning is awful. Partly due to the lack of wind to blow the smog out of the area. To the south of Bangkok, Samut Prakan and Samut Sakhon, the air quality is even worse with visibility on the ground cut to less than a kilometre. You would be well advised to reduce you activities outside on a day of high air pollution in the capital. The rating by airvisual.com is ‘unhealthy’.

Bangkok's air quality is 'unhealthy' today | VIDEO | News by The Thaiger

Readings around the inner city vary between 190 – 220. Areas to the east, including around Suvarnabhumi Airport, are higher.

A lot of the smog and smoke is flowing down from the north and north east where plantation fires rage, mostly unenforced, this time of the year, from December to May. Farmers have been told, repeatedly, to avoid buying off the waste after harvests of corn, rice and sugar cane but officials have been disinclined to enforce the laws. Many of the farmers have long-term contracts with some of Thailand’s leading agri-business conglomerates.

Bangkok and the central region can expect many more months, especially as the temperatures rise throughout February, March and April and the winds remain low as the north-easterly monsoon weakens.

Bangkok's air quality is 'unhealthy' today | VIDEO | News by The Thaiger

PHOTO: View across the Bangkok skyline from Sathorn this morning.

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

40 arrested in a suspected gambling house in Nonthaburi

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40 arrested in a suspected gambling house in Nonthaburi | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Nation Thailand

Last night, police raided a house in Nonthaburi and arrested 40 people for allegedly gambling.

According to the deputy chief of the Central Investigation Bureau, 33 are Thais and 7 are migrant workers of the casino. The officials also confiscated decks of cards of the Dragon-Tiger game, plastic chips and some cash as evidence.

During the raid, the migrant workers allegedly revealed that the gambling operations at the home had only been going on for 2 days and that the owner planned to move it to other locations.

Police have been cracking down on gambling after the Covid-19 outbreak at a Rayong gambling den in line with the PM’s order made last week to shut down the illegal venues and tracking down “influential figures.”

SOURCE: National Thailand

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Thailand

Former finance minister proposes legalisation of gambling

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Former finance minister proposes legalisation of gambling | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thai Tabloid

With Covid-19 cases linked to some illegal gambling dens, causing a headache for health officials trying to track down elusive gamblers to contain the virus, the former Finance Minister floated the idea to legalise gambling.

The former Finance Minister and current leader of the Kla Party, Korn Chaitkavanich, claims legalising gambling will help contain the spread of Covid-19. He also hinted that it will gain more tax revenue. If it’s legalised, gamblers will spend their money in legal casinos that pay taxes, drawing in more money the government can use for public improvements, he says.

The Royal Thai Police spokesperson insists police are pursuing legal action against owners of the illegal gambling dens. Interior Minister Anuphong Paojinda has also told provincial governors to suppress illegal gambling dens and take responsibility if more gambling dens are found.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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