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Festival raids seize over 70k pills



PHUKET: Provincial police announced yesterday that they have seized nearly 72,000 methamphetamine pills, estimated to have a street value of 4 million baht, over the course of the past week.

Phuket Provincial Police Commander Teeraphol Thipjaroen told the Phuket Gazette that the annual Vegetarian Festival brings with it a chance for dealers and suppliers to transfer drugs and cash in a more anonymous environment.

Gen Teeraphol said repeated interrogations allowed law enforcement to move against suspect after suspect in repeated raids.

“Our first suspect, Tanu Maidee, confessed that he got his drugs from Mooktad Boonprasop, who lives at the Nice Place apartment complex on Thepkasattri Road,” Gen Teeraphol said.

Gen Teeraphol claimed that Mr Tanu told police about yet another drug dealer named Sommard Poomi during his interrogation.

On October 5, Mr Tanu’s tip-off allowed police to capture Mr Sommard, along with 820 methamphetamine pills and a little more than three grams of crystal meth (ya ice). The same day, police raided Mr Mooktad’s apartment.

“Police founding an estimated 7,000 methamphetamine pills – also called ya bah, Thai for ‘crazy drug’ – 345 grams of ya ice, and an illegal handgun with 87 rounds of ammunition,” Gen Teeraphol said.

Police then interrogated Mr Mooktad, who reportedly confessed that he ordered drugs from a ‘Mr Shane’ via a middle-aged female courier named Chollada Musur.

The following day police set up a sting, telling Mr Mooktad to order 2,000 ya bah pills from Mr Shane. Police then arrested Ms Chollada when she arrived with Mr Mooktad’s order, and confiscated some 64,000 ya bah pills and about 276g of ya ice from her Chevrolet.

Mr Sommard, Mr Mooktad and Ms Chollada were charged with illegal procession of category 1 drugs with intention to sell. Mr Mooktad was also charged with possession of an illegal firearm and ammunition. Mr Tanu was charged with possession of a category 1 drug.

All together, police seized 71,810 ya bah pills and 625g of ya ice.

— Sukawin Tanthavanich


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