Drug dealer busted at Tah Chat Chai checkpoint

PHUKET: A drug dealer was arrested with more than 4,000 pills of ya bah (methamphetamine) worth more than 400,000 baht at Tah Chat Chai checkpoint Sunday evening.

Chaiwat Urairot, 28, was arrested while trying to enter Phuket from Songkhla at about 6pm.

“We aim to thoroughly check every vehicle entering Phuket. During one of our routine checks, we found Mr Chaiwat behaving in a ‘suspicious manner’, so we stopped his pick-up truck for a further inspection,” said Lt Col Jaran Boonsophab of Tah Chat Chai Police.

Officers first discovered a small bag of ya bah hidden in the console area of the driver’s side door, and then another 20 bags hidden in the hood.

“Mr Chaiwat claimed that a man named ‘Bang Yee’ had hired him to deliver the drugs from Songkhla to an agent in Phuket. He said that the agent would call him when he reached Phuket and added that he had not yet been paid for the job,” said Col Jaran.

Mr Chaiwat was charged with possession of a category 1 drug with intent to sell and was taken to Tah Chat Chai Police Station for further legal processing.

“We are questioning Mr Chaiwat to broaden the case further and apprehend others involved in the network,” said Col Jaran in a routine statement.

Earlier this month, Phuket Governor Norraphat Plodthong announced plans to boost security protocols at the Tah Chat Chai checkpoint, including more CCTV cameras, scanners and lanes (story here). The timeline for implementation of this plan, however, is yet to be revealed.

— Kritsada Mueanhawong

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