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Lao ‘drugs kingpin’ denies all charges

BANGKOK: Accused Lao drug lord Xaysana Keopimpha yesterday (June 19) denied all charges in relation to the case in which he and accomplices allegedly smuggled 1.2 million methamphetamine (ya bah) pills into Thailand in September last year.

crime, drugs, police, transport,

Bangkok Post

Tuesday 20 June 2017, 09:07AM

Xaysana Keopimpha, the alleged ‘Mr X’ drug lord, is seen in one of his Lamborghini cars in this photo taken at his home near Vientiane before his arrest in Thailand early this year. Photo: via Facebook
Xaysana Keopimpha, the alleged ‘Mr X’ drug lord, is seen in one of his Lamborghini cars in this photo taken at his home near Vientiane before his arrest in Thailand early this year. Photo: via Facebook

He was speaking before the Criminal Court on Ratchadaphisek Rd, where the pre-trial examination of the case’s evidence was held. The 42-year-old drug suspect was brought from the Central Correctional Institution for Drug Addicts, where he is being detained, to attend the process.

Xaysana is charged with colluding to import a Type-1 drug and possessing the drugs with intent to sell.

According to the indictment filed on April 12, Xaysana and six other alleged accomplices operated as a network to smuggle 1.2 million ya bah pills into Thailand from Laos through the Nong Khai checkpoint on Sept 30, 2016.

It is alleged that the gang was going to hand over the drugs to members of Xaysana’s network in the south of Thailand who were then going to smuggle the drugs onward into Malaysia.

Police arrested some members of the network with the drugs on Oct 1, 2016. After an extended investigation, Xaysana was arrested at Suvarnabhumi airport on arrival from Phuket on Jan 19 this year.

On April 16, Xaysana was arraigned at the Criminal Court by public prosecutors, where he denied the charges.

Asked again by the court whether he would plead guilty, Xaysana insisted he denied all the allegations.

At the proceedings the suspect said he understands Thai and there is no need for him to use an interpreter.

Prosecutors yesterday submitted evidence to the court. They said 11 witnesses were prepared to testify, including investigators, intelligence officers and a detainee at Nakhon Sri Thammarat Central Prison, who implicated Xaysana.

The prosecutors later agreed to reduce their number of witnesses to nine after Xaysana conceded some information revealed during the inquiry.

Five appointments will be sought for the plaintiff witnesses to give statements before the court, while the detainee hearing would be conducted via a video conference from the jail, according to prosecutors.

Xaysana’s lawyer said two appointments would be requested for three defence witnesses to testify.

One of them is Xaysana himself and the other two are arrested drug suspects – Chumpon Phanomprai and Thosapol Ponlee.

The court later gave approval for these requests with the first hearing starting on Feb 13 next year.

Sitthichok Trinet, the lawyer of Akarakit “Benz Racing” Worarojcharoendet, was also seen in the court.

Mr Akarakit, husband of actress Napapa “Patt” Tantrakul, faces a charge of conspiring to launder money in relation to the drug network allegedly run by Xaysana.

An initial police investigation found Akarakit received the money from Natthaphol “Boy” Nakkham, another arrested suspect linked to Xaysana.

Natthaphol, who was nabbed on Feb 1, a few weeks after the arrest of Xaysana, allegedly told police a Lamborghini belonging to the drug network was left in Akarakit’s care.

Reda original story here.



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