Phuket drug haul: 4 suspects, 4 guns and B13.5mn in drugs seized

PHUKET: A small pier popular for tourists heading out to the islands in Phang Nga Bay was a major drug-trafficking portal, Phuket police revealed today.

The news was announced by Phuket Provincial Police Commander Pekad Tantipong at a press conference to present to the media four suspects arrested for trafficking ya bah (methamphetamine) and ya ice (crystal methamphetamine).

On show at Phuket Provincial Police Station were about 25,900 ya bah pills, more than a kilo of ya ice, four guns and more than 160,000 baht in cash.

The suspects presented were named as Phuket resident Adul “Ron” Thongklay, 22; Phang Nga natives Wichai “Chai” Sapparos, 26, and Suphan “Nu” Jandaeng, 40; and Sunaree “Pond” Budsisuay, 23, from Nongkai.

All four had confessed to charges of possession of drugs with intent to sell and illegal possession of firearms and ammunition, police said.

Drug suppression officers working undercover arrested Wichai while he allegedly tried to sell them drugs.

Officers reported finding 12 ya bah pills, 0.95 grams of ya ice, a gun and 9,380 baht in cash on his person.

Following up on Wichai’s arrest, the officers then moved to arrest Sunaree and Suphan, who together were found in possession of 643 ya bah pills, 21.3 grams of ya ice, two guns and 159,060 baht in cash, police said.

During questioning, Sunaree told police that Suphan picked up drug deliveries from Adul at Bang Rong Pier, in Pa Khlok, said Maj Gen Pekad.

Adul brought a lot of drugs into Phuket by a longtail boat from Phang Nga, he added.

After organizing a delivery, anti-drugs officers arrested Adul at the pier.

On the boat police found 25,240 ya bah pills and 1,017.8 grams of ya ice, said the report.

Maj Gen Pekad said that tip-offs from the public had identified 705 locations on Phuket, such as guesthouses, hotels, nightclubs and neighborhoods, as centers for dealing drugs.

So far, police investigations have confirmed 57 of those locations as drug-distribution centers, he said.

— Atchaa Khamlo

Phuket News

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