Phuket: International gang nabbed for selling illicit drugs

Photo courtesy of Bangkok Post

In a crackdown on an international drug ring, Phuket police have arrested one Russian and three Nigerian men for allegedly selling a cocktail of illicit drugs including cocaine, ecstasy, and crystal meth.

Police Major General Phanthana Nutchanart, Deputy Chief of the Immigration Bureau, detailed the dramatic arrests to reporters yesterday.

“Three suspects were found distributing cocaine last weekend.”

The suspects, Denis (surname withheld), a 38 year old Russian, and two Nigerians, 41 year old Ogadinma and 40 year old Harison, were detained and taken to Karon Police Station for legal processing.

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Another Nigerian, 53 year old Solomon, was separately arrested for distributing crystal meth, ecstasy pills, and cocaine, in addition to possessing ketamine. Solomon is currently facing a formal investigation at Chalong Police Station.

The investigation ignited in April following tips from Phuket immigration police that Denis was illegally operating car rental and cryptocurrency exchange businesses. Undercover police posing as customers discovered Denis also sold cocaine at 4,000 baht per gramme. He was apprehended in a sting operation at a petrol station in Wichit subdistrict with 0.99 grammes of cocaine.

Denis allegedly revealed he bought the cocaine from Harison and Ogadinma at 3,000 baht per gramme. This information led to the arrest of the duo near a hotel parking lot in Karon, where police found 1.4 grammes of cocaine under the driver’s seat.

The trail led police to a bungalow in Chalong, the base of alleged major dealer Solomon. A search there uncovered a staggering haul: 855 ecstasy pills, 470 sachets of cocaine, 127.8 grammes of crystal meth, and two bank passbooks.

This bust adds to the significant drug-related asset seizures this year, including cars and nearly 900,000 baht in cash, reported Bangkok Post.

In an unrelated incident, Pol. Maj. Gen. Phanthana reported the arrest of Oleksandr, a 25 year old holding dual Swedish and Russian nationality, for allegedly robbing a 23 year old Russian woman named Diera. She claimed Oleksandr lured her via Telegram, then forced her to transfer over 104,000 baht to his accomplice after a violent encounter at a Chalong villa.

One suspect connected to this gang has reportedly fled the country, Phanthana added.

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Top is a multifaceted news writer with a keen interest in real estate and travel. Top currently covers local Thai news at Thaiger. As a travel buff, Top blogs about his travels- around the world and Thailand- during his free time.

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