Drug dealer shot dead in struggle with police

PHUKET TOWN: A drug dealer was shot dead yesterday in a struggle with narcotics police. A spokesman for Muang District Police Station said that undercover officers Sakarin Pookate and Paiboon Jantarin went to a house on Luang Por Wat Chalong Rd at about 1 am and asked Sarawuth ‘Yao’ Koysomboon, 29, to sell them some ya bah. Once the purchase was made, the two policemen revealed their identity. Sarawuth tried to run away but was caught by the two officers. As they tried to handcuff him, Sarawuth reached to his waist, pulled out a gun, and fired a shot. The shot went wide, but Sakarin fired back. His bullet struck Sarawuth in the left temple, killing the drug dealer instantly. The two policemen, joined by other officers, then searched the room, finding 18 more ya bah pills and half a gram of marijuana. Sarawuth’s body was taken to Wachira Hospital for autopsy. According to police, Sarawuth had a record of six previous convictions on charges of possession of illicit drugs with intent to sell. He had only recently been released from a prison term. The previous day, Phuket narcotics police arrested two other ya bah dealers in Rawai. Chalong Police said they received information that Soopachai Tongnuerkao, 26, and Anchalee Chumnanpol, 23, were dealing in the drug. Undercover officers posing as customers arranged to meet the couple at their house in Moo 4, Rawai, to make a purchase. The arrest was made immediately after the police received 10 ya bah pills from the couple. A search of the house turned up a further 216 pills. Soopachai and Anchalee were charged with possession of ya bah with intent to sell.

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