The arrests were all made by officers from the Phuket Centre for Drug Prevention and Suppression, led by Phuket City Municipality Chief Administrator (Palad) Chuchip Bamrung.
Joining the raids were Chalong Police officers led by Col Sarawut Chuprasit, as well as Civil Defense Volunteers (OrSor) and other law-enforcement officers, explained the reports of the raids.
In the first raid, the task force, which numbered about 30 at their pre-dawn assembly, raided a shack in the sea gypsy community near the Rawai beachfront.
Police arrested Saroch Homhuan, 43, and Juree Bangjak, 34, who were found with nine pills of methamphetamine (ya bah), 6.66g of crystal meth (ya ice) and three other “items of evidence”.
Saroch and Juree were charged with possession of a Category 1 drug with intent to sell.
Police also arrested Suriyan Na Takuathung, 31, and Prathip Areerop, 29, who were found with 20 pills of ya bah, 0.92g of dried marijuana and five items of drug-taking equipment.
Suriyan and Prathip were charged separately with possession of a Category 1 drug with intent to sell, and possession of a Category 5 drug.
During an ensuing raid at a house in Moo 2, police arrested four suspects, named as Vikrom Kongwiriyakul, 21, Narunat Chanthamuwong, 32, Chanchai Damrongkaset, 18, and Ms Chantha Hansaithong.
The suspects were found with 13 litres of kratom juice contained in 10 bottles and other ingredients and equipment to produce the drug cocktail called ‘4x100’ (pronounced "Four times One Hundred").
All four were charged with possession of a Category 5 drug and producing a Category 5 drug (kratom juice).
In another house in Moo 2, police arrested Warut Rodphan, 21, who was found with a bottle containing 500ml of kratom juice. Police also seized 150g of kratom leaf dregs from boiling the leaves to create the juice.
Warut was charged with possession of a Category 5 drug.
All nine suspects were taken to Chalong Police Station and charged accordingly, noted the police reports.
The reports also noted that only one of the suspects arrested agreed to undergo drug rehabilitation.
Palad Chuchip reported that the Phuket Provincial Government had ordered officers of Muang District Office to target villages where drugs are prevalent.
“Officers are to pressure drug traffickers in villages in order to prevent and suppress narcotics in such areas,” he said.
“We will continue to search the area in order to remove the drug traffickers from the community. Then we will integrate with the relevant officers to improve the quality of local people’s lives, so that they do not have to use drugs anymore,” he added.