Prisoner kingpin implicated in Phuket drug-network raids

PHUKET: The kingpin of a major drug ring operating out of a Thai prison was identified after a series of raids in Phuket, police said yesterday.

The raids, which began on Sunday, saw more than 2 kilograms of ya ice (crystal methamphetamine) seized.

“The major dealers arrested implicated a female inmate, who we will name only as ‘Ms B’ until we conclude our case, as the kingpin managing the network from inside a prison,” said Phuket Provincial Police Commander Patchara Boonyasit.

Maj Gen Patchara declined to specify where the inmate was serving her sentence, saying only that it was not in southern Thailand.

“Once we are sure that we have all the evidence we need, Ms B will appear before a judge to hear additional charges added to her current sentence,” he said.

“The total amount of ya ice seized has a street value of about 3 million baht.”

Phuket City Police first arrested “Mr A”, 28, on Sunday at Karn Keha housing estate in Rassada with 0.17 grams of ya ice. Police are protecting the identity of the man due to the testimony he provided.

It was from questioning Mr A that police were able to continue to unravel the drug-dealing network that included users and dealers in Thalang, Phuket Town and Patong.

“A total of eight people were charged with possession of a Category 1 drug, and a total of six were charged for possession with intent to sell,” Patong Police Deputy Superintendent Khunnadet Nanongkhai said.

Gen Patchara assured the public that police would not rest in their mission to crack down on drug networks operating on the island.

“I have ordered both Phuket City Police and Patong Police to thoroughly question all suspects arrested,” said Gen Patchara.

“The amount of ya ice we have seized is quite small, but I am sure these arrests will lead to bigger hauls.”

Police did not reveal when they would make their move against Ms B.

— Chutharat Plerin

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