At 9.30am yesterday a team of officers from various branches of Phuket Police arrested Somphan Meemuangnok, 32, for smuggling copious amounts of drugs into Phuket for distribution among local teenagers.
The arrest of Somphan was announced by Phuket police chief Maj Gen Teeraphol Thipjaroen at press conference held this morning.
Gen Teeraphol explained that local police received a tip-off from their sources that a big drug delivery from Bangkok is expected to happen this week and the drug mule will be using one of the night buses arriving on Friday morning.
The source indicated that Somphan will be the man to deliver drugs and when the bus arrived at Phuket Bus Terminal 2 law enforces had already been there waiting for the suspect.
Having searched the man's luggage officers found a cardboard box with a kilo of yah ice (crystal methamphetamine) and nearly 7,886 pills of ya bah (methamphetamine).
Police said the estimated street value of the drugs they seized was approximately B5 million.
Somphan was taken to Patong police station, questioned and charged with possession of category 1 drugs with intent to sell.
Police officers are confident that he is a member of a major drug network operating in Thailand.
“We didn’t just find him by luck. We had contacts, we had background information and knowledge about the drug network,” Gen Teeraphol said at the press conference.
“We were also aware of large quantities of drugs to be delivered to Phuket from other provinces.
This knowledge helped us make the connections and come to awareness that Mr Somphan would be travelling to Phuket from Bangkok by bus that morning,” added another police officer.
Somphan has already admitted that the drugs belonged to him and provided officers with information about two other persons from the drug network who have already been arrested.
Phuket police are now trying to identify Somphan's suppliers in Bangkok and other member of the network.
News of Somphan's arrest follows the announcement of a nationwide anti-crime campaign to ensure law and order during the Songkran holiday.
Measures planned for the coming festival include more vigorous suppression of unauthorised possession of weapons, human trafficking, and narcotics (read more here).