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Phuket braces for “ice’ storm

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PHUKET: Ya ice is replacing ya bah as the drug of choice for Phuket’s teenagers, according to the island’s top police officer.

Phuket Provincial Police Commander Pekad Tantipong’s comments came after police seized 100,000 baht’s worth of ya ice (crystal methamphetamine) in a sting operation over the weekend.

Six were arrested on drug charges.

Maj Gen Pekad and Phuket City Police Superintendent Wanchai Ekpornpit announced the arrests and seizures at a press conference at Phuket City Police Station at 11am yesterday morning.

“Right now it seems ya ice is spreading in Phuket, and ya bah [methamphetamine] is looking out of date. We’re not sure why,” said Gen Pekad.

Gen Pekad said it was mostly young Thais who were taking the drug.

“They’re encouraged into doing it by their friends,” he said.

“Alien workers much prefer drinking to taking drugs,” he added.

The six suspects were paraded in front of the press at the conference. All were arrested on Saturday evening at the Twin Inn Hotel in Phuket Town after police were tipped-off that a gang of four drug dealers were staying at the hotel.

An undercover officer arranged to buy drugs from Prasert ‘Lek’ Kaewsuwan, 30. After Mr Lek attempted to sell the officer some ya ice in front of the hotel, he was arrested.

Mr Lek’s 22-year-old girlfriend Gingarn ‘Yui’ Sungkha was picked up in the hotel room. Two more 22-year-olds, Sitthipong ‘Em’ Pradab and Surin ‘Tu’ Suwannoe, were arrested 15 minutes later when they returned to the room.

Searches of the suspects and the hotel room yielded 25 small bags of the drug weighing a total of 20.69 grams.

A Nissan Cefiro registered in Bangkok was also seized as evidence in the case.

Two more suspects were arrested earlier in front of the Twin Inn after buying ya ice from the gang.

Athit ‘Jack’ Pimsamut, 30, and Rangsan ‘Joe’ Bunklieng, 32, were caught with 0.75g and 0.65g of the drug, respectively.

A small bag of ya ice, typically weighing one gram or less, currently sells for around 3,000 baht, police say.

— Atchaa Khamlo

 

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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