PHUKET TOWN: In what police told the Gazette was the biggest drug case to arise in Phuket in the past ten years, authorities have seized heroin with a street value they estimate at roughly one million baht. At 3:30 yesterday afternoon, the Patong-based Kathu police received a report from the Phuket Town office of the national Narcotics Control Board (NCB) that a drug dealer from Surathani would be en route to Patong to deliver a large quantity of heroin to a customer on Thaweewong Road. The Patong-based unit was asked to assist in the arrest of the suspect, who, they were told, would be driving a brown pick-up truck. Approximately an hour later, the Kathu police, joined by officers from the NCB, spotted a brown Toyota pick-up parked in front of the Pun Tuao Kong Chinese temple at the crest of the Patong-Kathu road. As they approached the vehicle, the driver, Somsak Sokarat, whom they described as large and dark-skinned with long hair, started to flee. The police caught him, and in searching the truck found a suitcase under the driver’s seat. It contained 24 packets of heroin, a total of about 480 grams. The authorities arrested Somsak and took him to the Kathu Police station for questioning. The 43-year-old native of Trang province, formerly Principal of a commercial college in Phuket, said he had borrowed the truck from a relative and knew nothing about the heroin. He is being held in the Kathu jail pending further investigation.
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