The arrested foreigners were identified as 67-year-old UK national Joseph Toole and 65-year-old Canadian Kulik David. The Thai suspects are Suriyan Suwanchairob, 34, and Supakit Kaeoma, 54.
Deputy national police chief Gen Chalermkiat Sriworakhan told a news conference yesterday (Dec 6) that police were informed of the illicit business in March.The smugglers hid the cannabis in compressed coconut peat, or coir, and exported it to Belgium. A shipment was intercepted in Antwerp.
Police raided the warehouses on Monday and seized 70.22 kilogrammes of cannabis oil in 57 bottles, 6.6kg of cannabis paste and chemicals. Mr Suriyan was arrested in Sakon Nakhon province, Mr Supakit in Bangkok, and the two foreigners in Pattaya.
Gen Chalermkiat said the Canadian was suspected of being one of the financiers of the illicit business and the Briton directed production. The gang has allegedly been producing the oil in Bang Phli for over a year, and to have smuggled five tonnes of cannabis oil to Belgium.
He also said police believed the gang included a Japanese financier.
Mr Suriyan was allegedly responsible for guarding drugs and equipment and Mr Supakit ran a shipping firm which allegedly handled the smuggling side of the operation.
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