Phuket Halloween kratom party a bust

PHUKET: Police arrested a Phuket hotel staff member with five kilograms of kratom leaves, allegedly being prepared for a “kratom party” on the island.

On the eve of Halloween, Thanit Praditnipol, 21, was picked up by a sortie of officers led by Muang Chief Administrative Officer Thammarong Chuayaksorn as Mr Thanit stepped off a bus arriving from Trang province at Phuket’s new inter-provincial bus station, Terminal 2.

“My team and I were on patrol that night, and we spotted Mr Thanit acting suspicious as soon as he got off the bus,” said Mr Thammarong.

“He confessed to us that he was working at a hotel in Phuket, and that his friends wanted to hold a ‘kratom party’ at the hotel.

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“Mr Thanit said he volunteered to go back to his home in Phang Nga to buy the leaves for the party,” he explained.

Mr Thanit was handed over to the Phuket City Police for further questioning, Mr Thammarong added.

Despite kratom trees being native to Southeast Asia, their leaves have been designated a controlled substance, in the same category as cannabis, since promulgation of the Kratom Act in 1943.

Recent raids by police officers have left many local kratom trees stumped and ashed, leading to several arrests of individuals smuggling the substance onto the island.

Kratom leaves, a mild narcotic, are often used in the popular party cocktail “4×100”, which was thought to have played a part in the deaths of Canadian sisters Audrey and Noemi Belanger on Phi Phi Island earlier this year.

The concoction is not considered lethal when made using the usual ingredients of kratom leaf extract, cough syrup, cola and ice, but the alleged addition of insecticide DEET in the Belanger sisters’ drinks was thought to have been linked to their deaths.

However, a Quebec coroner has refuted claims that the Belanger sisters had ingested enough of the insecticide to cause their deaths.

— Kritsada Mueanhawong

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

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