Phuket Provincial Police investigators announced the news at a press conference at the Phuket Provincial Police headquarters in Phuket Town this afternoon (Sept 28).
In making the arrests, police seized 39,820 ya bah pills, 18.8 grams of crystal meth (ya ice), 180mg of heroin, a BMW car, a Nissan March, a Mitsubishi sedan, two bankbooks and two gold necklaces – altogether valued at B1.23 million, police said.
The suspects arrested were named as Thai nationals Thipparat ‘Koi’ Prompramoon, 29, and Udom ‘Ae’ Rattanamanee, 44, and John Mark Vickers, 29, a Thai national of Thai-British parentage who goes by the nickname ‘Jonny’.
Police today explained that following their investigation, officers from the Phuket Provincial Police arrested Pongsak ‘Bear’ Kaewsuksai, 33, from Nakhon Sri Thammarat, on Monday (Sept 24) after he was found in possession of 119 ya bah pills.
That arrest led to the arrest of Sonthaya ‘Bu’ Nudam, 41, from Phatthalung, on Tuesday (Sept 25), after he was found in possession of 67 ya bah pills and 2.52g ya ice.
Mr Sonthaya told police that he brought the meth pills from ‘Jonny’, who lived in a house in Koh Kaew, north of Phuket Town.
Police placed Vickers under surveillance, and then on Wednesday (Sept 26) raided the house in Koh Kaew, where Vicker lived with Thipparat.
After his arrest, Vickers told police that he met Udom in Phuket Provincial Prison while he was serving a sentence for drug possession in 2016.
The two re-connected after their release, with Vickers telling police that it was Udom who persuaded him to start running drugs together in June this year, police explained today.
Vickers said that his part in the operation was to count the pills and to deliver them to ‘customers’ across Phuket, police said.
The drugs were delivered to Phuket after Udom ordered them from a ‘Mr Arm’ in Bangkok. The drugs were hidden in the toy cars, which were packed into a box and delivered to Phuket.
Some of the drugs were packed into small plastic packets that were inserted in the small rubber tyres on the toy cars.
Vickers told police that he was paid between B5,000 and B10,000 for picking up each delivery, which he said he had done four times, police said today.
Police today also explained that Vickers told them that Udom had called him on Monday (Sept 24) and told him to pick up the new delivery of drugs from in front of Phanasorn Village near the entrance to Kathu Waterfall at 2pm that day.
Vickers picked up the box and brought it back to his house in Koh Kaew, where Udom arrived at about 2pm on Wednesday (Sept 26) to check the delivery. That’s when police moved in and arrested both of them.
Phuket Provincial Police Deputy Commander Col Sermpan Sirikong told The Phuket News that all three suspects were still being held at Provincial Police Station while police continue their investigation.
All three – Vickers, Udom and Thipparat – have been charged with possession of Category 1 drug with intent to sell, Col Sermpan confirmed.
“Officers from the Phuket Provincial Police Investigation Division are continuing their work to learn more information right now,” he said.