Indonesia seeks Thai help to capture fugitive drug lord

Picture courtesy of CBS News

Indonesian police have requested Thailand’s assistance in locating and arresting a wanted drug lord believed to be hiding in the kingdom. This request follows the recent arrest of fugitive Chaowalit Thongduang by Indonesian authorities.

The chief of Indonesia’s narcotics division, Police Brigader General Mukhi Juharsa, announced on Sunday that the Indonesian National Police (POLRI) are seeking the capture of Fredy Pratama. This exchange is being proposed in return for the extradition of Chaowalit, also known as Paeng Nanode, said Juharsa in a statement issued on Sunday.

“There’s a favour, there’s a return. We ask Thailand to also capture Fredy.”

The request was officially submitted to the Royal Thai Police Office, as stated by Polri on its X account, formerly Twitter. According to reports, the fugitive is hiding in a forest in Thailand, reported by Malaysia’s Bernama news agency.

Fredy Pratama is alleged to be the leader of a syndicate connected to gangs across Southeast Asia, including Thailand and Malaysia. His network is involved in the trafficking of methamphetamine pills sourced from the Golden Triangle, Indonesian police claim.

Authorities from Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand dismantled part of this gang in September last year, arresting 39 individuals during a coordinated three-nation operation. Despite these efforts, Fredy remains at large.

Wahyu Widada, the chief of the Indonesian national police criminal investigation department, revealed in September that Fredy’s network had accumulated assets worth more than 10.5 trillion rupiah (around 24 billion baht) since 2020. These assets include significant real estate holdings, according to Reuters.

Chaowalit is scheduled to be extradited from Indonesia to Nakhon Si Thammarat tomorrow, according to the chief of the Indonesian narcotics division.

Chaowalit escaped from Maharaj Nakhon Si Thammarat Hospital during a dental visit on October 22 last year. He will be taken directly to Mueang Police Station. At the station, the murder suspect will face interrogation and formal charges related to his escape.

The Royal Thai Police have planned robust security measures both at the airport and along the convoy route, although specific details remain undisclosed.

Crime NewsThailand News

Bob Scott

Bob Scott is an experienced writer and editor with a passion for travel. Born and raised in Newcastle, England, he spent more than 10 years in Asia. He worked as a sports writer in the north of England and London before relocating to Asia. Now he resides in Bangkok, Thailand, where he is the Editor-in-Chief for The Thaiger English News. With a vast amount of experience from living and writing abroad, Bob Scott is an expert on all things related to Asian culture and lifestyle.

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