PHANG NGA: Police arrested six members of an alleged krathom drug distribution network on Monday. The gang is charged with possession of 326 kilograms of the category 5 drug, which police estimate has a street value of 300,000 baht.
A joint task force comprised of Thalang administrative officers, Khok Kloi police and civil defense volunteers reportedly detained two suspects after stopping a suspicious car passing through the Tah Chat Chai check point on August 21.
“We found the suspicious car with two suspects inside attempting to transit through the check point entering Phuket,” said Thalang Chief Administrative Officer Siripong Leeprasit. “However, our inspection turned up nothing, so we asked them to come down to the Thalang District Office, where they were questioned for six hours until they confessed.”
“The driver, named Bookaree Maanraden, 19, confessed that he was supposed to check if the route was clear for another vehicle, which would transport the drugs to Phuket.”
This led to the arrests of four other suspects who were waiting in Phang Nga.
“We seized 326kgs of krathom and eight mobile phones, near Baiyang resort in Khok Kloi,” Mr Siripong said.
“Mr Bookaree confessed that he had brought the krathom from Malaysia to Hat Yai, and intended to sell it in Phuket for 1,000 baht per kg,” he said. “This is the third time he’s done this.”
Officers refused to name the other suspects besides Mr Bookaree, as he was the only one to confess to the crime. However, all six were charged with the illegal possession of a category 5 drug.
— Kritsada Mueanhawong
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