PHUKET: Drug arrests over the last two days have brought police closer to the source: a dealer based inside Nakhon Sri Thammarat Prison. Illicit guns and bullets bought online were also uncovered during the arrests.
Two suspects, Santi Nhuphoom, 31, and Anas Thongma, 23, were found with a total of 490 grams of ya ice (crystal methamphetamine) and three guns when they were arrested in Phuket Town on August 12 and August 13.
Mr Santi was arrested first, said Kathu District Chief Veera Kerdsirimongkol, who along with Vice Governor Jamroen Tippayapongtada and other officials presented the men at a press conference at Phuket Provincial Hall Tuesday night.
“On the night of August 12, we received a report from an informant that Mr Santi was selling ya ice to local teens, so our undercover officer arranged to buy 10 grams of it from him.
“When Mr Santi handed over the drugs, our officer identified himself. Mr Santi ran into a nearby house, but officers were able to catch him,” Mr Veera said.
“We seized 10 grams of ya ice, a .357 handgun with 6 bullets, 3,000 baht and a bank book.
“Mr Santi told us he bought all the ya ice from Mr Anas, who lives in Soi Sian Tai in Rassada,” he said.
The next afternoon officers raided Mr Anas’ house. They seized 480 grams of ya ice in plastic bags in his wardrobe, two handguns, 100 bullets and drug paraphernalia.
“Mr Anas told us that a prisoner in Nakhon Sri Thammarat prison arranged the drug sale,” Mr Veera said.
“They both bought their guns and bullets from Thai websites. They said they Googled ‘gun sales’ and were able to find a seller,” he added.
Mr Santi and Mr Anas were charged with possession of a Category 1 narcotic and possession of a gun and bullets without a license.
“We have notified Nakhon Sri Thammarat police and relevant officers to further the investigation,” explained Mr Veera.
— Kritsada Mueanhawong
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