Seven held in million-baht drug busts
Seven people were arrested on Saturday and some 6,500 methamphetamine (ya ba) pills and more than half a kilo of crystal methamphetamine (ya ice) seized.
Monday 11 June 2012, 09:39AM
Details of the arrests have led to talk of the hidden involvement of prominent individuals.
Pol Col Wanchai Palawan, head of the provincial anti-drugs unit, told a press conference, “Community leaders have been co-operating well [with us], which led to arrest on drugs charges of Katawoot ‘Egg Kai’ Kijnakom, 27.
“Katawoot was arrested in the Ban Eua Atorn government-sponsored housing project in Tambon Sri Sunthorn, in Thalang. One bag containing 0.5 grams of ya ice was seized.”
Police also seized a home-made shotgun pistol and four 12-gauge cartridges.
Col Wanchai noted that though the amount attributed to Katawoot was small, when he was interrogated he revealed that he had a network. “Those [subsequently] arrested were all part of it – one of the large drug rings in Phuket.”
Those arrested were (in order of capture):
Apinant Sae-Diao, 25, with 1.25 grammes of ya ice, in front of Tessaban Sam Kong School off Yaowarat Rd in Phuket town;
Miss Ootoomporn Petchchamnan, 25, with 5.6 grammes of ice, and Miss Manasanant Siemson, 27, with six grammes of ice, both at the Phuket Lawyer Law Office in Soi Bor Nam off Surin Rd in Phuket town; and
Mrs Janya Saeng-Aroon (whose full name means ‘ethical morning light’), 47, with 500 ya ba pills and 23.47 grammes of ya ice, at her residence in Patra Mansion off Mae Luan Rd in Phuket Town;
The cliamx to the hunt came with the arrests of Adisak Wai-asa and Soopakij Sae-Iao, both 18, in possession of 6,000 ya ba tablets and 500 grammes of ice, at the new bus terminal on Thepkrassattri Rd, Phuket Town.
Col Wanchai said the two teens were paid B30,000 for each load they transported. Their job was to pick up the drugs in Bangkok and bring them by bus to deliver to members of the ring.
Pol Col Wanchai said the haul this time was “worth a million baht’. In addition to the drugs, he said, police seized “pick-up trucks, cars, motorcycles, almost 20 bank account books and more than 19 other pieces of property belonging to the suspects.”
“Since I was appointed chief of the provincial Drugs Suppression Squad,” he added, “the business of stamping out drug use in Phuket is being performed seriously. Our work is carried out day and night. We follow up every lead and monitor movements of suspicious characters.
“Our aim is to eradicate drugs in Phuket, and do it as a detailed response to government policy.”
Involvement of the two women arrested at the Phuket Lawyer Law Office has led to rumours that bigger fish await frying. It was not reported what the women’s relationship with the law firm is, if any.