One of the men, 38-year-old Alexander Wolfien was arrested at a house near Rawai beach in Phuket yesterday (July 6). The other, 42-year-old Alex Kartun who holds dual German-Russian nationality, was intercepted at a villa in Koh Phangan, Surat Thani.
Both had fled Interpol arrest warrants in their homeland several years ago and had been living in Thailand as fugitives ever since.
“The arrest came after the German embassy in Thailand filed a request to the Immigration Bureau to arrest the two men and deport them to their homeland so as to face prosecution,” Immigration Bureau Chief Lt Gen Sompong Chingduang said at a press conference in Bangkok yesterday.
Wolfien and Kartun are reported to be the driving force behind a major network providing drugs to gangs in several European countries.
“Recently they have been involved in trafficking a new psychoactive substance,” Lt Gen Sompong said.
“The German embassy explained that police have arrested about 20 suspects in Germany who were known accomplices of the two and who had been producing a drug mixed from chemical and herbal substances which creates an effect similar to marijuana. The drug was being sold to gangs and distributed across several European countries.
“Some people have died from taking the drug,” Lt Gen Sompong added.
“The German government requested that their Thai counterparts send the two men back to face charges, which is why the immigration office filed a request to the Criminal Court to issue an arrest warrant, which was issued on April 20 this year.
“A team led by Lt Thawip Changtoh investigated the case until they were certain where both men were living before making the arrests. We can confirm that Russian nationals who were friends of both the men had been helping them take refuge.
“If anyone detects any foreigners committing illegal actions, please inform us by calling our call center 1178 or through www.immigration.go.th,” Lt Gen Sompong concluded.