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Drug runner caught smuggling 195k meth pills into Phuket

PHUKET: Police have intercepted a delivery of more than 190,000 methamphetamine pills (ya bah) hidden under the spare wheel in the back of a pickup truck as its driver attempted to bring the drugs onto the island.

By Eakkapop Thongtub

Friday 21 December 2018, 04:17PM

Officers at the Phuket Check Point discovered and seized the drugs at around 3am yesterday (Dec 19), Region 8 Police Deputy Commander Maj Gen Nantadet Yoinuan announced at a press conference this morning.

Gen Nantadet credited the bust to a team of Tha Chatchai Police officers led by Phuket Provincial Police working together with officers from the Narcotics Suppression Bureau as well as military personnel from the Royal Thai Army 25th Military Circle, which is stationed in Phuket.

“We had been informed that drug runners will first use one vehicle, then pretend to break down and have another vehicle come to help them. They switch the drugs from one vehicle to another in the hope of misleading police,” Gen Nantadet explained.

However, the tactic failed to fool police officers at the Phuket Check Point just doing a routine stop-and-search.

“At 3am, police stopped and searched Yutthapong ‘Jack’ Sukthong as he was carrying a spare wheel in the manner that he had broken down along the way to Phuket.

“The officers found 10 ya bah pills hidden in his shoes, prompting them to search the vehicle thoroughly. They found a further 195,800 ya bah pills hidden in a wheel lying on the tray in the back of the pickup,” Gen Nantadet said.

“Yutthapong admitted to police that he had brought the pills from Thung Song Sistrict in Nakhon Sri Thammarat Province.

“He was hired by someone who paid him B50,000 to deliver them to a man in Phuket,” he added.

“Yutthapong has been charged with possesion of a Category 1 drug with intent to sell and he is now being questioned by the Tha Chatchai Police,” Gen Nantadet explained.

Gen Nantadet also reported another, unrelated, drug raid that netted two suspects at a rented room at the Poonpon Night Plaza in Phuket Town.

Through an investigation, officers were following Sorawit ‘Ball’ Singkonrat, 31, and Rarita ‘Aui’ Bunchado, 22, who were both suspected of drug dealing, Gen Nantadet explained.

Officers finally moved in and arrested the couple at around 4pm on Tuesday (Dec 18), he said.

“The officers found 4,187 ya bah pills and 65.04 grams of crystal methamphetamine (ya ice) in the suspects’ rental room,” Gen Nantadet said.

“Sorawit said that he ordered the drugs from Chiang Rai Province, and that he commanded a network in Phuket that delivered the drugs across the island, usually an agreed drop-off point beside the road,” he explained.

“They now both face charges of possession of a Category 1 drug with intent to sell,” Gen Nantadet confirmed.



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