The Airport Interdiction Task Force (AITF) apprehended a Kenyan woman at Suvarnabhumi Airport on Sunday for smuggling cocaine into Thailand.
The Secretary of the Office of the Narcotics Control Board (ONCB), Wichai Chaimongkon, disclosed details of the drug bust in a press conference yesterday. The AITF officers discovered 1,250 grammes of cocaine hidden in the luggage of the 45 year old Kenyan woman. The drug was hidden in a specially crafted secret pocket.
According to Wichai, the woman travelled via a transit flight from Nairobi in Kenya, to Doha in Qatar, and Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport in Thailand. The AITF arrested the woman and seized the drugs before reporting to the ONCB.
Following further investigations, the ONCB discovered that another person was involved in the smuggling but their identity was not revealed. The Kenyan smuggler had arranged to meet with the other suspect to transfer the cocaine at a hotel in Bangkok’s Sathorn neighbourhood. However, the person became aware of the police investigation and ceased communication with the woman. Officers made known they would conduct further investigations to bring down the whole network.
Wichai revealed that since Thailand officially reopened its borders last year, there has been an increase in cocaine smuggling from abroad. At the beginning of April, the AITF arrested a 28 year old Thai woman after discovering 2,352 grammes of cocaine in her luggage. She had flown to Bangkok from Istanbul, Turkey.
Wichai explained that wealthy Western African criminal groups were responsible for the smuggling of drugs. He further stated that cocaine was a popular and expensive substance among wealthy Thai partygoers and foreign tourists.
During the Songkran Festival, the ONCB busted one of those international drug rings, resulting in the arrest of two Thai citizens, one Malaysian, and one Hong Kongese. The suspects were in possession of 93 kilograms of heroin and 161 kilograms of crystal meth, which they planned to smuggle into Australia.
This report comes after the story of South Australian drug lord Robert Gordon Pollybank Gee, who was sentenced to 20 years in jail. Gee operated a massive drug trafficking network and illegally imported significant amounts of cocaine, methamphetamine, MDMA, and LSD.
In 2011, Gee fled to Thailand to evade the Australian authorities, but he was eventually arrested in 2019 at Bar Funk on Bangla Road in Phuket and sentenced to four years in prison. He was extradited to Australia this year, where he received his sentence.
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