PHUKET: Phuket Police intercepted a package containing 10,000 ya bah (methamphetamine) pills with an estimated street value of 5 million baht at the Phuket City Post Office on March 21.
The drug seizure followed the arrest the day before of two men in Phuket City for possession of illegal firearms, Region 8 Police commander Lt Gen Thanee Thawisri announced at a press conference on March 24.
Gen Thanee said that Phuket natives Sorrapong “Aod” Phadungkarn, 30, and Pathitta Mathong, 23, were in possession of two automatic handguns, a modified rifle and about 160 rounds of ammunition. Police also seized bank account books and deposit slips as evidence of transactions worth 7 million baht, he added.
On March 20, undercover narcotics agents received a tip-off that K. Aod and K. Pathitta were awaiting a large shipment of ya bah pills to arrive via Thailand Post’s express mail service, said Gen Thanee.
At 9 pm that day, a team of officers lead by Phuket City Pol Lt Col Pongnarin Suthin, searched the couple’s residence at 207 Wandee Apartments in Rassada, where officers found the cache of weapons, bank slips and bankbooks, said Gen Thanee.
During interrogation at Phuket City Police Station, the suspects confirmed that a package containing ya bah had been sent from Northern Thailand and would arrive at the Phuket City Post Office the following morning, said Gen Thanee.
At 9.30 am on March 21, officers retrieved a large cardboard box from K. Aod’s postal box. Inside was a plastic container of fermented fruit and a second container of ya bah pills in blue bags. A total of 50 bags, each containing 200 pills, were seized. Police suggested the fermented fruit was used to conceal the drug’s scent.
Pol Maj Gen Decha Butnampeth said, “We must continue to monitor the post office as this case has shown us how easy it is to send and receive drugs through the mail. We used to have X-ray machines to check packages for drugs but they were needed for security in the Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat provinces.”
“We must quickly retrieve them and have them reinstalled at the Tah Chat Chai checkpoint as soon as possible,” he added.
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