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One billion baht in assets seized during Phitsanulok drug bust

Jack Burton

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One billion baht in assets seized during Phitsanulok drug bust | The Thaiger
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PHOTO: Bangkok Post

Police in the central Thai province of Phitsanulok have seized assets valued around one billion baht from a gold shop and its related businesses. The store was suspected of being the ‘shop front’ to a larger drug trading network. An arrest warrant was issued for the shop’s owner, his son is already in custody.

A team of around 100 officers from provincial police, narcotics and other agencies searched 13 venues in Phitsanulok and Chiang Mai yesterday.

The operation followed the October arrest of four drug suspects and the seizure of more than a million methamphetamine pills in Chiang Rai.

Once questioned, the suspects from the earlier arrests implicated Nanthaphan Apichaithanathip, owner of the gold shop, and his son Phanthanan Apichaithanathip.

Officers had earlier arrested two other suspects, 36 year old Chalermpong Kosiri and 50 year old Bulakorn Kaewma, at a petrol station in Ayutthaya on the same night. Chalermpong is Nanthaphan’s son from another relationship.

Their confessions have so far led to six more arrests. Police say Nanthaphan was the leader of the gang and bought drugs from a trafficker.

Authorities seized gold ornaments valued at about 28 million baht from the gold shop’s main branch. Other assets included four properties worth 200 million baht, 10 commercial buildings worth 50 million baht, 58 plots of land worth 155 million baht, Buddha amulets, cars and other valuables valued at another 500 million baht.

The deputy national police chief said the rapid expansion of Nanthaphan’s businesses raised suspicions.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

Road deaths

Local singer dies after crashing his car while on a video call

Caitlin Ashworth

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Local singer dies after crashing his car while on a video call | The Thaiger
PHOTO: naewna

A Thai singer died after crashing his car into a lamppost while on a video call with his girlfriend. Thai media did not report on the estimated speed, but photos of the wreckage show severe damage. The roof ripped off the Toyota Altis and the car is almost unrecognisable.

23 year old Akkarachai, known as Ice, was found dead at the scene on Pahonyothin Road, or Route 1. He performed at many night venues and events around the Central Thailand province Chai Nat. Ice’s friend told police that he was on his way home to his girlfriend’s house in Nakhon Sawan about 25 kilometres away. While on the phone with his girlfriend, there was suddenly a loud noise and the phone went dead.

Chai Nat police warn people not to use their phones while driving.

SOURCE: Thai Visa

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Central Thailand

Monk arrested for alleged involvement in large methamphetamine delivery

Caitlin Ashworth

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Monk arrested for alleged involvement in large methamphetamine delivery | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Daily News

Police arrested a monk on drug charges and seized 4.8 million methamphetamine pills from a resort in the Central Thailand province Chai Nat. The man, a senior monk from Chiang Rai, was allegedly hired to help deliver large qualities methamphetamine 3 times and paid 300,000 baht per delivery. The monk allegedly told police that he needed the money to enroll in a master’s degree program.

A photo shows the monk standing in front of a van packed with boxes. Along with the 4.8 million methamphetamine pills, police found a gun with 14 bullets and 11 mobile phones. According to Thai media, it was a significant drug trafficking bust, cracking down on a large network in the Chiang Dao and Chai Nat area. The monk allegedly sat in the van during deliveries to “trick” police and avoid getting searched at police checkpoints.

SOURCES: Chiang Rai Times | Thairath

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Bangkok

Whale skeleton around 3,000-5,000 years old found in Samut Sakhon

Caitlin Ashworth

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Whale skeleton around 3,000-5,000 years old found in Samut Sakhon | The Thaiger
PHOTO: MGR Online

A whale skeleton estimated to be around 3,000 to 5,000 years old was found in Samut Sakhon, just west of Bangkok, about 12 kilometres inland from the coastline. The bones will be carbon dated to determine a more precise age.

The Natural Resources and Environment minister Varawut Silpa-archa says the bones resemble the Bryde’s whale. About 50 Bryde’s whales live in the upper Gulf of Thailand near the Samut Sakhon coast.

“The seas around Thailand have been abundant with life for thousands of years, as shown by fossils.”

The partially fossilised skeleton is around 12 metres long with 3 metre long skull. Archaeologists excavated 19 vertebrae with 5 ribs each along with a shoulder blade and left fins. They estimate another 20% of the skeleton needs to be excavated.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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