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Woman busted with 2.5kg of cocaine at Phuket airport

Woman busted with 2.5kg of cocaine at Phuket airport

PHUKET: Authorities confirmed today (Apr 6) that a woman was arrested at Phuket International Airport after being found in possession of almost 2.5 kilogrammes of cocaine.

By Eakkapop Thongtub

Thursday 6 April 2023, 04:58PM

The secretary-general of the Office of the Narcotics Control Board (ONCB), Wichai Chaimongkol confirmed that the Airport Interdiction Task Force (AITF) had apprehended and arrested the 28-year-old woman, a Bangkok resident known only as ‘Weerawan’ (family name not supplied) after 2,352 grammes of the illegal narcotic was found in her luggage on arriving at the airport this morning.

The AITF consists of the Customs Office, Narcotic Suppression Bureau, Armed Forces Security Center, and the ONCB.

Mr Wichai explained that on Dec 10, 2022, the AITF seized an international parcel that had been shipped from Colombia containing 663 grammes of cocaine hidden inside compartments of two thermos flasks. After further investigation they confirmed Ms Weerawan was involved and therefore continued to monitor her.

Officers monitored and followed Ms Weerawan and on Mar 10 discovered that she had travelled from Phuket to Doha, Qatar, then onto and Istanbul in Turkey. This is the route the officers believed Ms Weerawan was using to bring the drugs back into Thailand.

Parin Mekanan, Director of Narcotics Suppression Bureau, is tasked with closely monitoring and investigating networks that smuggle drugs into the country and, alerted the AITF yesterday (Apr 5) that Ms Weerawan was scheduled to fly into Phuket International Airport today.

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AITF officers subsequently contacted the Customs Office to arrange an inspection of Ms Weerawan’s luaggage once she had arrived, which is when the cocaine which was hidden inside a secret compartment was found.

Mr Wichai explained that in the past most of the people arrested for smuggling cocaine were Western Africans and Middle Eastern, with many of the illegal drugs brought from countries in those regions. Smugglers would usually swallow the drugs or hide them in secret compartment in their luggage, he added.

In some cases, they found that smugglers would bring the cocaine from the original country hidden in luggage and then hand it over to another person who would bring the drugs into Thailand via a connecting flight. This was a dynamic that required a trusted network and therefore only members of trusted circles would be engaged in the operation.

The AITF will continue further investigating Ms Weerawan to determine more details on other people involved in the operation, adding that they have already coordinated with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) of the United States of America in Thailand to extend the investigation about the receipt of bags containing drugs before importing into Thailand.

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JohnC | 07 April 2023 - 08:52:08

Dumb crooks will always get caught, even by dumber cops.


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