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Chumphon-Phuket bus driver, 69, attendant, 26, booked for kratom coach smuggling attempt

Chumphon-Phuket bus driver, 69, attendant, 26, booked for kratom coach smuggling attempt

PHUKET: A 69-year-old bus driver and his 26-year-old attendent have been booked for possession of the kratom plant after attempting to smuggle 19 kilogrammes of the pyschoactive stimulant on a Chumphon-Phuket coach.

By Eakkapop Thongtub

Sunday 3 April 2016, 11:46AM

Authorities – led by Mr Siripong Lipprasit, Thalang District Palad (admin clerk) and chief of Thalang’s security division, along with Pol Col Pricha Rakchan of Thalang Police – presented their latest kratom bust to Phuket Governor at 10am on Saturday (April 2).

Acting on a tip-off, officers on Friday (April 1) followed the coach as it arrived in Phuket, from Chumphon, and as it parked in front of Tesco Thalang to drop off passengers, officers stopped the coach and proceeded to board and search it.

The search unveiled 19 kilogrammes of the kratom plant packed into the frame and concealed by a rubber mat.

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Police said that the driver, named as Mr Seri Meesaeng, confessed to buying the illegal plant – which is mild stimulant consumed by Thais of various ages and native to Southeast Asia – in Chumphon at the rate of B1,000 per kg, and planned to sell it in Phuket for B1,300 to B1,500 per kg.

Police said that they had busted Mr Seri once already around the New Year holiday, at Thachadichai checkpoint, and that he confessed to having smuggled the plant to Phuket regularly for at least a year.

Both men were charged with possession of a Category 5 addictive drug (Kratom)and booked at Thalong Police Station even though the attendant, named as Mr Apichai Wongkaeo, refutes the charges.

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Kurt | 04 April 2016 - 12:16:39

What came up in my mind:
Is there a thai government eye and ear test for thai bus, taxi, minivan drivers above a  certain age?

That bus/train accident, even published in Europe before it was in thai media, makes me thinking that drivers should be yearly tested on eyes and ears.
Or is this a step to far for TAT and other thai government bodies?

It doesn't need to install committees or m...

Richard Vickers | 03 April 2016 - 19:42:18

Classic. I think you covered it pretty good there Kurt.  Incompetence and foolishness at all levels... from the incorrigible 70 year old drug smuggling driver (even if it is just kratom) that shouldn't be driving tourists (even if he wasn't a criminal), and the ignorant Thai authorities that allowed it. This place really is the bottom of the bucket when it comes to tourist safety.

Kurt | 03 April 2016 - 13:13:19

What is going on here in Thailand?
A driver already busted a few months ago, still allowed to drive tourist busses and continue his practice, while he at that time already confessed to smuggled regularly?
No jail time, no termination of driving touring cars?

What is wrong with thai authorities? 
And I like to address too to TAT as well: 
Don't you think a 69 years old criminal driver is...


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