Connect with us


Phuket’s most wanted: DEA souvenirs



PHUKET: Officers from the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) met with their Thai counterparts in Phuket yesterday to discuss when and where they will hand out souvenir items bearing images of some of the “most wanted” drug traffickers in Asia.

Attending the meeting at Tourist Police headquarters in Phuket Town were DEA Group supervisor David McConell and special agents Scott Seeley-Hacker and Mark Grey, all from the DEA office in Bangkok.

The officers presented items including T-shirts, pens, beverage coasters, matchboxes and even “beer condoms”, all featuring photos and names of some of the DEA’s most wanted criminals in the region.

At the top of the list is Wei Hsueh-kang, an ethnic Chinese drug trafficker and high-ranking official of the United Wa State Army (UWSA), the leading heroin and ya bah (methamphetamine) trafficking organization in Southeast Asia.

He has also been known to use Thai aliases Charnchai Chiwinnitipanya and Prasit Chiwinnitpanya.

The DEA is offering up to US$2 million for information leading to Wei’s capture and successful prosecution. Information is available at:

Also at the presentation were Drug Suppression Division officers from across Phuket, including Royal Thai Police Narcotics Suppression Bureau officers Sutthirat Tojumba and Narkpong Potha, who head up the provincial drug suppression unit.

The DEA officers explained that the giveaway is aimed at raising awareness of the cash awards on offer and encouraging people to contact authorities if they think they have spotted any of the suspects here in Phuket.

The items will be handed out at four popular locales over a five-day period.

Soi Bangla has been named as one of the areas. The other three have yet to be decided on.

Tourist Police and local authorities will hand out the items to foreigners and Thais alike, the officers said.

The project is expected to launch next month at the Phuket Carnival, which gets underway on December 15, they added.

The “Spot a Druglord” project was initially launched in August in Bangkok, Pattaya, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai and Udon Thani.

“We have received some information from people in those places, but we have yet to apprehend any of our ‘most wanted’,” said Mr McConnell.

— Atchaa Khamlo


Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

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

Follow Thaiger by email:

World51 mins ago

Kanye West’s “White Lives Matter” shirt at Paris Fashion Week

Thailand2 hours ago

Tangmo defendant repays vow with 5-metre Ultraman figure

Bangkok2 hours ago

Bangkok asks companies to let employees work from home until October 7

Thailand2 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Prime minister’s achievements since coming back to the office

Best of2 hours ago

Revealed: the best rooftop bars in the world

Thailand2 hours ago

Father & 2 year old son shot in Chiang Mai

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Pattaya3 hours ago

Officials predict over 100,000 people at Pattaya International Fireworks Festival

Thailand3 hours ago

Six-legged golden frog brings good fortune in northern Thailand

Tourism3 hours ago

Saii Laguna Phuket to hold a conference on tourism safety and security

Thailand3 hours ago

Mother seeks justice after a monk slapped her son

Expats3 hours ago

Bangkok ranked one of top 5 expat cities

Thailand3 hours ago

Woman abandons home after police ignore four burglaries

Thailand4 hours ago

VIDEO: Brave citizens save delivery driver swept away by floods in northeast Thailand

Chiang Mai4 hours ago

Chiang Mai wakes up to a flooded city district

World4 hours ago

Japanese warned to take cover over North Korea missile test

Thailand1 year ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism2 years ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11