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Phi Phi bar owners arrested for selling drugs to tourists, B23mn in accounts seized

Phi Phi bar owners arrested for selling drugs to tourists, B23mn in accounts seized

PHUKET: Two people have been arrested for selling drugs at a bar on Phi Phi Island, and officers have seized more than B23 million in funds in bank accounts, Immigration Bureau Chief Lt Gen Sompong Chingduang has announced.

By Eakkapop Thongtub

Friday 27 March 2020, 08:47PM

Lt Gen Sompong revealed the news at a press conference in Bangkok today (Mar 27).

A tip-off to police led officers to raid the “Barnana bar” on Phi Phi Island on Mar 1, he said.

Officers arrested the bar’s owner, Piyawat Khunbunthreng, after they found him in possession of a cache of drugs, he said.

Officers seized 18 pills of ecstasy, with an estimated sale value of B1,500 per pill, Lt Gen Sompong said.

Also seized were packs of marijuana weighing a total of 875 grammes, worth an estimated B100,000, and 534 hand-rolled cigarettes of marijuana mixed with tobacco which sold for B200 each, he added.

“Officers also seized B280,470 cash,” Lt Gen Sompong noted.

“They also seized bank accounts containing more than B23 million,” he added.

Piyawat confessed that drugs were smuggled onto the island so they could be sold to tourists, Lt Gen Sompong said.

Officers continued their investigation, which led them to track down Piyawat’s partner in the bar, who Lt Gen Somphong named only as “Ms Supranee”.

Armed with an arrest warrant issued by Krabi Provincial Court on Mar 2, officers began their search for Supranee.

The telling clue came on Mar 14, when she withdrew B2.08 million from one of the accounts at the Bank of Ayudhya (Krungsri) branch at the Jungceylon shopping mall in Patong.

Working with Tourist Police, Krabi Police and Phang Nga Police, and by using CCTV footage, officers tracked down and arrested Supranee at a homestay resort on Koh Yao Yai, east of Phuket but technically in Phang Nga Province, Lt Gen Somphong explained.

Both Piyawat and Supranee have been charged with possession of drugs with intent to sell, and will be prosecuted according, Lt Gen Somphong noted.

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