Ex-ship captain identified as head of major drug ring

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A prominent former ship’s captain has been identified by the Narcotics Suppression Bureau (NSB) as the operator of a substantial drug trafficking ring, from which 1.2 tonnes of ketamine and nearly one tonne of ya ice were confiscated earlier this month.

The NSB disclosed this information during a briefing at its headquarters, unveiling the outcome of a covert operation named Poseidon 1. This operation led to the arrest of five individuals at a port in the Bang Pakong district of Chachoengsao on December 4.

Justice Minister Tawee Sodsong revealed that the authorities also seized 999 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine, also known as ya ice, and 1.2 tonnes of ketamine from the trafficking ring operated by the arrested quintet.

The trafficking circle includes both Thai nationals and foreigners. The NSB also seized assets totalling 140 million baht (US$4.05 million), suspected to have been acquired using drug-related funds.

Tawee stated that the authorities are still in the process of identifying more assets valued at over one billion baht linked to the drug gang.

The head of the NSB’s Division 3, Adis Charoensawat, identified the five suspects as Ekkawit, Nuthanat, Suphakorn, Sirisap, and a 15 year old boy, reported Bangkok Post.

A broader investigation by the NSB has revealed that a man named Charnchai, a renowned commercial ship captain who later established his own shipping company, led the ring.

According to Adis, Charnchai organised the delivery of illegal drugs via a trawler to customers who collected the drugs in international waters. Since June this year, seven such deliveries have been made.

In related news, a clash between Pha Mueang military patrol and alleged drug smugglers in Fang, Chiang Mai uncovered over 400,000 amphetamine pills. Thai authorities face persistent challenges in combating cross-border drug trafficking, with ongoing incidents highlighting the need for intensified efforts to curb illicit activities in the region.

Thailand 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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