PHUKET TOWN: A squad of 12 officers handpicked by Governor CEO Pongpayome Vasaputi this afternoon arrested a couple, Lateng Artharn, 46, and Sa’ard Somwang, 35, on charges of possession and trafficking in ya bah (methamphetamine). The officers, all members of Phuket’s Provincial Defense Office (PDO), arrested the couple at 12:30 pm in a sting operation at the 999 hotel on Poonphol Rd. Lateng is long-distance bus driver, regularly driving between Phuket and Bangkok, and Sa’ard is a ticket collector on the same bus. Gov Pongpayome led the raid, along with PDO Chief Viroj Suwannawong and Phuket Town District Chief Weerawat Janpen. “I ordered my special unit to follow the couple and we began an undercover operation whereby an officer started buying ya bah from the couple and then ordered more and more [at successive meetings]. “The final time the officer arranged to buy 600 ya bah pills at the hotel. That is quite a lot [of pills] for Phuket,” Gov Pongpayome said. The couple were taken to Phuket Town Police Station, where they were charged with possession of and trafficking in ya bah.
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