At 3:30pm yesterday, Chief of the Phuket Peace Keeping Council Capt Somsak Ratchawakarn, Lt JG Taksin Hooklim of the Royal Thai Navy Third Area Command, and Capt Wetchasak Junadung of the Phuket City Police led 20 officers to raid four houses in the Chumchon Sapanruam community in Phuket Town.
The raid came after local residents complained of continued drug activity being conducted in the area.
Officials first raided house numbers 30 and 33 in Soi Chumchon Sapanruam 6 where they discovered fresh kratom leaves, packs of dried kratom with cough syrup and bottles of liquid kratom.
Three people were arrested in the raid, however, only one was named by police, 23-year-old Mr Amnart Faijai. The other two arrested were Amnart’s girlfriend and mother.
However, officers confirmed that a fourth person was also found in one house, a 74-year-old woman named only as Ms Jai.
Ms Jai was previously arrested on Nov 21 when she was found to be in possession of 58kg of kratom.
At that time, Ms Jai told officials that she was from Khon Kaen and no income. She said that she and the homeowner knew each other and that she looked after the house when the owner was away.
She admitted that she sometimes helps sell kratom for the owner which she sells for B200 per set (two bundle of leaves and one bottle of cough syrup). (See story here.)
Officers confirmed that on this occasion Ms Jai was not arrested.
As the first raid was going on, a separate team were raiding another two houses in the community, 8/1 Soi Sapanruam 7 and 36 Soi Sapanruam 1.
During the raid on 8/1 Soi Sapanruam 7 police seized 3kg of fresh kratom leaves and arrested 39-year-old Ms Prapaisri Thampikun.
Nobody was found during the raid on 36 Soi Sapanruam 1, however, officers did discover fresh and liquid kratom.
It was later found that this property was also rented by Amnart arrested in the first raid.
From the raids, officials seized a total of 44kg of kratom, four liters of liquid kratom, 65 bottles of cough syrup and B38,320 in cash.
Amnart, his girlfriend and mother and Prapaisri were all taken to Phuket City Police Station to face their charges.
It was also noted that as the raids were being carried out a crowd of local residents told officials that they were unhappy with the ongoing drug problem within the community and that it appeared to be spreading rapidly.
They said that despite officials trying to stop the problem, many outsiders continued to go into the community seeking and using drugs and that they were concerned for the safety of young people in the area.